FONOPs [Freedom of Navigation Operations] have grown “more regular and strident” under the Trump administration, says Alessio Patalano of King’s College London. America’s European and regional allies are not quite as confrontational. They tend to keep a greater distance from China’s bristling baselets.

The Economist pub 6 October 2018 (link not available)

I came across the phrase "bristling baselets" in the sentence "They tend to keep a greater distance from someone's bristling baselets", but cannot find the meaning in any dictionary. Can anyone give its definition or source? Thanks!

  • 1
    Context needed. – Hot Licks Oct 14 '18 at 11:49
  • added the context in which it appears – Lexinton Ave Oct 14 '18 at 11:53
  • Is the book about computer games or apps or warfare? – Pam Oct 14 '18 at 12:01
  • Could be a misspelling of "bracelets". Otherwise it's a local term or one that must be inferred from the context. (Ie, a lot more context is needed. Where did you see this? Is it a fiction piece, a news story, or something else? Is the author a skilled writer and was the piece professionally edited, or is it the sort of thing where misspellings would be common?) – Hot Licks Oct 14 '18 at 12:02
  • Why didn't you provide the context that Andrew provided, given that you were obviously quoting from the same article? Failure to do this has cost you downvotes. – Hot Licks Oct 14 '18 at 12:41

Let is a productive suffix. The Economist has coined the term baselet meaning small military base. It's bristling with weapons.


  1. (forming nouns) denoting a smaller or lesser kind.

    ‘booklet’ ‘starlet’


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