Construction of a hardened base for China's nuclear-powered submarines began in 1968 at an inlet near Qingdao, which is on the Shandong Penninsula coastline of the Yellow Sea. The project involved the removal of 810,000 cubic meters of rock and pouring 200,000 cubic meters of concrete. By the mid-1970s the underground shelter system was camourflaged and hardened against attack. The multiple shelters at this facility include equipment for servicing nuclear propulsion systems and loading JL-1 missiles.
The North Sea Fleet, headquartered at Qingdao, also operates ships from two other major bases at Lushun, Liaoning and ten minor bases. The Fleet's area of responsibility extends from the border with North Korea to the Gulf of Bohai and the Yellow Sea. The Chinese 1st Institute of Oceanology of the State Oceanic Administration is also located in Qingdao.[NRDC states that, according to declassified US Government documents, the Xia SSBN is deployed at the Jianggezhuang Submarine Base, which they indicate is located either at 39°27'N 119°09'E or at 37°25'N 121°49'E. The former location is almost certainly not the Xia-class homeport, as it is a rather great distance from Qingdoa on the northern coast of the Bo Hai Gulf near Tangshan, and would be more properly described as "near Beijing." The later location is on the southern coast of the Bo Hai Gulf, on the opposite side of the Shandong Penninsula from Qingdao. It would seem that the "Jianggezhuang Submarine Base" is the US Government nomenclature for the facility, rather than the location of the facility.]