Recent satellite pictures propose that the Chinese are developing secured underground offices at the air terminal in Tashkurgan. Still under development, the high-altitude air terminal is often touted as the future base for Chinese desires in Central Asia.
The proposed air terminal in Tashkurgan is in nearness to the borders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK). It was in 2015 that China’s civil avionics specialists initially revealed their arrangements to develop an air terminal at the high altitudes of the Pamir level.
Be that as it may, development at this site started only in April 2020. This was nearly 7 days before the main fight among Indian and Chinese armed forces in Ladakh’s Pangong Tso was reported in May 2020.
Analysis of high-resolution business satellite imagery, provided by space firm Planet Labs, affirms the probable double use nature of the impending air terminal.
“These secured underground offices affirm the Chinese goals in the region; the reasonable utilization of these offices isn’t clear at this stage however it will provide a degree of disguise and insurance to the Chinese tasks” Col Vinayak Bhat (Retd) said.
Alongside the underground offices, development on different parts of the air base is additionally apparent in the satellite pictures dated May 28, 2021. Blacktopping of the runways and development of the terminal area can unmistakably be found in the satellite pictures, alongside deployment of stone pulverizing machines, land moving gear and development trucks.
Attributable to its higher altitude, the 3,800 meter long runway in Tashkurgan is marginally longer than the Hotan air terminal.