BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:00 P.M.) – New satellite images that were obtained by India’s New Delhi Television (NDTV) station showed the Chinese military dramatically increasing their Ngari Gunsa Airbase in the western region of Tibet near the Indian border.
According to the NDTV report, the satellite images show major construction being done at this base, which is located just 130 miles away from Pangong Lake, the same area where the Chinese and Indian forces clashed earlier this month.
The first image that was posted by NDTV, dated April 6th, 2020, showed a new airstrip with a single, small terminal area.
Meanwhile, the second photo, which was taken on May 21st, 2020, showed that the base’s size had been doubled, with either a new taxiway or a second tarmac.
— IDU (@defencealerts) May 26, 2020
The airbase works as a dual-use airfield, which serves both military and civilian flights. It is also one of the world’s highest airfields at 14,000 feet above sea level. As a result of its location, it is very difficult for enemy jets to intercept the aircraft there.
With the increased size of this base, it appears the Chinese military is preparing to strengthen their presence in this disputed region, despite attempts to deescalate the situation on both sides.
Most recently, India has sent a large number of reinforcements to the Line of Actual Contact (LAC) area along the Chinese border, as both sides take precautionary measures in case of a new standoff at the border.