“As far as what we have learnt, the relevant reports are totally groundless,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters, in response to questions about a Border Security Force (BSF) report detailing the presence of Chinese troops providing training to the Pakistani army in PoK.
The BSF, according to media reports, had prepared an internal report stating that Chinese troops were seen imparting weapons training in some Pakistani forward posts in PoK, opposite the Rajouri sector.
India has, in the past, raised with China on a number of occasions the issue of its troops being present in PoK. The recent BSF report was not, however, raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his interactions with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Australia, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told PTI in Brisbane.
According to earlier Indian government estimates, as many as 3,000 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel had been involved in infrastructure projects in the disputed region. Most personnel were thought to be from the PLA’s engineering corps and involved in building roads.
After India raised the issue in 2012, then Chinese Defence Minister and PLA General Liang Guanglie responded saying that the PLA had “never deployed a single soldier” in PoK.
China has, however, appeared to reject Indian concerns about its involvement in continuing infrastructure projects in PoK, saying the projects were being conducted “without prejudice to the dispute between India and Pakistan”. China is now moving forward with an economic corridor running through PoK, linking its western Xinjiang region to the Pakistani port of Gwadar.