China’s submariners in SCS suffer from mental health problems

Beijing, Jan 31 (PTI):
One in five sailors serving with China’s submarine force, especially nuclear subs in the disputed South China Sea, are experiencing mental health problems, according to a new research.
China in recent years focussed its military deployment in the South China Sea (SCS), which has become a new theatre of conflict with frequent forays by US naval vessels to assert freedom of navigation in the region. China claims almost all of the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory. China has been building military bases on artificial islands in the region also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. A study by Naval Medical University in Shanghai of more than 500 servicemen and officers claims to be the first of its kind to highlight the psychological problems the troops working in the disputed waterway are facing. Based on their answers to a self-assessment questionnaire, 21 per cent of respondents were found to be suffering from some degree of mental health problems, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
According to a US Congressional Research Service report in 2019, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has about four ballistic missile submarines, six nuclear-powered attack submarines and 50 diesel electric attack submarines. According to the study, the Chinese submariners also reported higher indicators of anxiety and paranoid ideation thinking that is dominated by suspicious or persecutory content than the average for all Chinese military servicemen.

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