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11.4.10 is building a new airport near Mount Everest with the apparent purpose of turning the Chinese side of the tallest peak into a climber's paradise. It has been named the Peace Airport, which might be a message for Tibetan rebels or for India.

The $71.7 million airport is coming up in Xigaze (also called Shigatse) prefecture. It will boost tourism and bring more visitors to the Tashilhunpo monastery of the Panchen Lama, which is located there. The government appointed Panchen Lama, who was recently inducted into the Chinese parliament, has played a key role in helping the government run a campaign against the Dalai Lama.

Xigaze falls on the China-Nepal highway, which will make it easier for air passengers to travel to the Himalayan Kingdom by road. This will be the fifth civilian airport in Tibet Autonomous Region. China is also building another airport, the world's highest at an altitude of 4,436 mters n Nagqu Perfecture. of the airport began in April last year and will be completed by October. The new airport has a capacity to handle 230,000 passengers and 1,150 tonnes of cargos and take care of 2,580 take-offs and landings a year till 2020. , the official media quoted Xu Bo, director of the Civil Aviation Administration's Tibet branch, as saying.

The prefecture has five Tibetan peaks higher than 8,000 metres: Mount Qomolangma as Everest is called (8,843.13m), Lozi (8,516m), Markalu (8,463m), Qowowuyag (8,201 m) and Xixabangma (8,012m). The four other airports in Tibet are in Lhasa, Qamdo, Nyingchi and Ngari.


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