CHINA'S plans to station a squadron of coastal patrol vessels in a proposed new naval base on Stonecutters Island for the People's Liberation Army Navy is at the centre of a deadlock over military sites between Beijing and Britain. According to a military analyst based in Hong Kong the Chinese will also deploy a small fleet of warships to the territory for the handover although they may have to ride at anchor if the base is not ready. Last week, the two sides, who had been locked in discussions for seven years over the disposal and allocation of military sites, admitted talks had broken down again. The proposed billion-dollar base will include a headquarters building which will act as a naval operations centre for the PLA Navy's equivalent of the Royal Navy's Hong Kong Squadron, which is made up of three Peacock-class patrol ships. According to the analyst, the PLA Navy is likely to fill the role with a squadron of Hainan or Shanghai class coastal patrol ships which are frequently seen by Marine Police outside territorial waters. The Hainan class ships, which weigh about 375 tonnes, can be fitted with four missile launchers and are equipped with two twin-barrelled 57 mm guns and two twin-barrelled 25 mm guns, and an array of mortars and depth charges. The Shanghai class ships, which weigh 113 tonnes, have similar armaments with a crew of 38, about half that of the former's complement. The analyst also said the Chinese are likely to deploy a number of guided missile frigates to Hong Kong for the handover ceremony and that mainland warships will visit the territory on a regular basis, much like foreign navies do at present. If an agreement is not reached soon it will mean Chinese ships will not be able to dock at the new base during the handover, and with the Tamar basin almost certain to be reclaimed by then, they will be forced to find another anchorage. One of the key sticking points is the size of the new base, provisionally known as the ''southshore facility'', which will take up most of the south side of Stonecutters Island and will be under PLA Navy control. Experts from the two sides agreed at an earlier meeting that the size of the new naval basin should be 398 metres by 398 metres, but at the latest round of talks Chinese officials declared they now wanted a larger base. The final size of the basin will determine how much reclamation has to be carried out and how long the outer harbour walls, which will be necessary to protect the base from prevailing winds and currents, will have to be. There are already dangers that aspects of the work on the base will run past the handover date, but providing an agreement can be reached soon, construction could get under way immediately. Due to standard marine engineering practices, which stipulate precise time periods for reclamation work due to dangers posed by proceeding before deposits have settled, it will take about three years for the base to be completed. When the new facility is ready there will also be quarters for accommodating resident and visiting sailors and troops, an administration block, supply depots, weapons and ammunition stores, and duty guard posts. There will also be derricks and docking facilities along the inner harbour, workshops for servicing and repairing resident and visiting ships, and a fuel depot. Coincidentally, the deadlock was announced last Wednesday, in a week that marked the first anniversary of the move of the HMS Tamar from Central to a purpose-built base on the north shore of Stonecutters Island. Prior to the handover, the Government dockyard will move from its current site in Yau Ma Tei to the new HMS Tamar basin and take over all of the facility after July 1, 1997.