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Lingshui Air Base

Lingshui Air Base is located on Hainan Island and is a People's Liberation Army Navy facility this home to the 22nd Regiment, 8th Division of the PLANAF.

Hainan Island is the largest island presently governed by the People's Republic of China, almost as large as Taiwan Island. The west of the island borders the Gulf of Tonkin, with Vietnam visible in the west across Beibu Bay. The east of the island is near to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines is in southeast. Hainan Province is separated from the mainland by the Qiougzhou Straits in the north, and it borders the South China Sea. Hainan Island has monsoon tropical climate with annual average temperature 22-26C. Over half the 1,000 mile long coastline of Hainan Island is composed of beaches that are several hundred to several thousand feet wide. The seawater has a temperature of 70 degrees F. Tourism is the backbone industry, which attracts investors from home and abroad to make the most active investment. The province is an international sea and air transportation hub in the South China Sea. Hainan Province has under its jurisdiction nine cities, four counties, and six autonomous counties, of which the later include Lingshui County.

Lingshui Li Nationality Autonomous County is located in the southeast region of Hainan Island, between 1822' and 1847' north latitude and between 10945' and 11008' eastern longitude. Hainan hosts China's only community inhabited by Li (Hlai) minority people. Their unique culture and customs are of great tourist value. Lingshui has a tropical oceanic climate with adequate sunshine and no winter period. Backed by mountains and facing the South China Sea, Lingshui county is endowed with extraordinary scenic beauty. The soviet government of Lingshui county was the first county-level soviet government in China. Lingshui County's Nanwan Monkey Island is the country's largest nature reserve for Chinese rhesus monkeys.

The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) South Sea Fleet has air bases at Foluo, Haikou, Lingshui, Sanya, Guiping, Jialaishi and Lingling.

Hainan has two civilian airports, of which Haikou Meilan Airport has opened to the airlines to Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Burma as well as to the capitals of the important provinces and cities of China. It has been listed as one of the eight large aerial ports of China. The Sanya Phoenix Airport has opened to the airlines to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Seoul, Osaka, Tokyo, Siberia, Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan, totalling 10 international airlines and routes to 23 cities of China. The two airports have opened in total more than 70 domestic and international air routes.

In July 1954 a Cathay Pacific DC-4 was shot down by Chinese La-9 fighters near Hainan. Of those aboard, 10 were killed, and 8 survived.

A large SIGINT facility at Hainan Island is principally concerned with monitoring U.S. naval activities in the South China Sea. One of the first major projects reflecting growing Chinese interest in activities in the South China Sea was the major upgrading of SIGINT collection capacity. The large SIGINT complex on Hainan Island was significantly expanded by 1995. Established in 1968 at the Lingshui military air base, the Lingshui intelligence facility is said to be home to more than 1,000 intelligence analysts of the Third Technical Department. The complex is used to monitor downlinks from commercial communications satellites.

Lingshui Airbase
Click on the small image to view a larger version

NGA Tactical Pilotage Chart of Lingshui Airbase and surrounding area. (Source: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)

NGA Tactical Pilotage Chart of Lingshui (Source: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)

Ikonos browse imagery of Lingshui Airbase and surrounding area (Source: Space Imaging, 05/07/01)

Lingshui Airbase (Source: Space Imaging, 05/07/01)




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