China set to build world’s highest airport

China will build the world’s highest airport in Tibet as part of a 13-billion-dollar investment splurge in the Himalayan region, state media reported on Tuesday.

China will spend more than $12.9 billion over the next three years on 180 projects in Tibet, including the airport in northern Ngari prefecture, Xinhua news agency said, citing the regional government. The airport will be the fourth in Tibet and another important plank in China’s plan to link the remote Himalayan region with the rest of China. A third airport began operating in Nyingchi, southeast Tibet, in September 2006, two months after China launched a railway line from Beijing to the regional capital of Lhasa. The Ngari airport will be located at about 4,300 metres above sea level, making it the highest airport in the world, according to reports in the state press.

The first reports of plans for an airport at Ngari emerged in 2005. Xinhua said the 180 projects by 2010 would focus on other forms of infrastructure such as power plants and tele coms,and education and social security.

The amount of money to be spent over the next three years is about one-third more than the 63 billion yuan spent on similar projects in Tibet from 1994 to 2005, Tibet’s chairman, Qiangba Puncog, was quoted as saying.

However critics of China’s rule of Tibet say new infrastructure, like the railways, is allowing the nation’s ethnic Han majority to flood the region, exploit its resources and consolidate its political control. Plan overview ¦ China will build the world’s highest airport in Tibet as part of a 13billion-dollar investment splurge in the Himalayan region, state media reported on Tuesday. ¦ The airport will be the fourth in Tibet and another important plank in China’s plan to link the remote Himalayan region with the rest of China. Xinhua said the 180 projects by 2010 would focus on other forms of infrastructure such as power plants and telecoms.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

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