China developing new fighter aircraft base in Shakche near Ladakh as India watches closely


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China developing new fighter aircraft base in Shakche near Ladakh as India watches closely

Amid the ongoing military standoff with India, China is developing an airbase for fighter aircraft operations close to the Eastern Ladakh area in Shakche town in the Xinjiang province, government sources told news agency ANI

According to the government sources, 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 will fill the gap for the Chinese Air Force in this region, the agency quoted govt sources as saying. 

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

READ MORE: China building permanent concrete camps close to Sikkim’s Naku La and Eastern Ladakh: Report

The report said that 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.

READ MORE: ‘Unilateral change of status quo not acceptable’: Jaishankar tells Chinese counterpart in SCO meet


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