China evades response to presence of its troops in PoK

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman denied reports of recent incursions by People's Liberation Army.

Beijing: China will not react to reports that its Army, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), was present at a forward post in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) recently.

China preferred to deflect attention from the issue, stating it regretted the fact that stories about its ‘territory incursions’ keep popping up in the media.

"I have not heard about the incident you mention," the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kong said at a media briefing in Beijing, replying to a question about the presence of PLA troops at a forward post opposite Nowgam sector in the PoK.

In response to another question on reports of recent incursions of PLA troops on the Indian side in the Ladakh sector, Kong said "there is no such thing as going beyond the border".

"We deeply regret that the media keeps bringing up the issue. The bilateral relationship (between India and China) has maintained sound momentum of development,” he said.

"We hope the media would report objectively about China-India relations and do more to improve the friendly relationship between the two sides," he added.

At the same time Lu reiterated Beijing's stand on the Kashmir issue, saying that China's position on Kashmir was consistent.

"We believe the issue was left over by history between India and Pakistan. We maintain the two countries should properly resolve it through negotiation and consultation."

Asked whether the presence of PLA troops is connected with the work related to the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, over which India has conveyed its protest, Lu merely reiterated China's stand on the Kashmir issue.

India has protested the corridor connecting China's Xinjiang province with Pakistan's Gwadar port as it goes through PoK along the Karakoram Highway.

China in the past has maintained that the corridor, which is part of its Silk Road initiative, is aimed at improving people's livelihood and in no way affects the status of Kashmir.

Both sides have established a ‘Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination’ along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to discuss the issue of incursions and aggressive border patrols by their troops along the 3,488-km long disputed border.

( Source : PTI )
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