China Building New Air Base Near Ladakh: Report

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Srinagar: As the ongoing military standoff between India and China seems to be nowhere in sight, the neighbouring nuclear country is developing an airbase for fighter aircraft operations close to the Eastern Ladakh area in Shakche town in the Xinjiang province, news agency ANI reported on Tuesday.

Quoting government sources, the report says that the base is being built between the existing airbases of Kashgar and Hogan which have been carrying out fighter operations along the Indian borders for a long time. This new base for fighter operations, sources said, will fill the gap for the Chinese Air Force in this region, the report said.

They also said Shakche town already has an airbase and it was being upgraded for fighter aircraft operations.

According to the report said the gap between the existing air bases in China close to the LAC for fighter aircraft operations was around 400 kms but “this would be bridged with the operationalisation of the Shakche airfield.”

Besides, the Indian agencies are also monitoring an airfield near the Uttarakhand border in Barahoti with China where the Chinese have brought in a large number of unmanned aerial vehicles which are continuously flying in that region.

Last week, a report said that the Chinese Army was building permanent concrete structure near the LAC, which will allow its troops access the disputed areas with India in a very short time.

Senior government sources told ANI that one such camp is coming up few kilometres inside the Chinese territory opposite the Naku La area in north Sikkim area, which is barely a few minutes distance from the area where Indian and Chinese troops had clashed last year when the confrontation started and also in January this year.

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