Military facilities in China have nowhere to hide from gleaming high-rise buildings

China's military facilities from naval bases to airports are under threat of exposure from high-rise buildings that are too tall, a report has said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
China's military facilities from naval bases to airports are under threat of exposure from high-rise buildings that are too tall, a report has said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (China Daily/Asia News Network) - China's military facilities from naval bases to airports are under threat of exposure from their excessively tall neighbours, a report has said.

A naval base in the north-eastern city of Dalian, for example, had to resort to erecting an 800m-long, 22m-high wall at a cost of 10 million yuan (S$2.15 million) to avoid "being spied on", the Oriental Outlook news weekly reported.

The wall was erected because a group of European-style villas nearby were too tall, the magazine published by state news agency Xinhua said.

More than 10 military airports have even been relocated or closed due to safety concerns, according to a statement by the General Staff Headquarters of the People's Liberation Army.

One of them, the 83-year-old Hangzhou Jianqiao Airport, is known as the "cradle of China's air forces". Yet it could not beat more than 20 high-rise buildings in its vicinity because they were not built to height limit regulations.

It is not clear when the PLA issued the statement, or when the relocations or modifications took place.

Citing sources, Oriental Outlook blamed the situation on local governments' flagrant disregard for national defence in favour of economic development.

A revised law forbidding buildings and structures from violating clearance limits in reserve zones went into effect on Aug 1 last year, the report noted.