Beijing: China on Monday dodged a direct response to reports of presence of PLA troops at a forward post in PoK and refuted allegations of recurring incursions by its troops into Indian territory, asserting that the PLA soldiers patrolled the Chinese side of the LAC.
"I have not heard about the incident you mentioned," the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kong said at a media briefing here, replying to a question about the presence of People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops at a forward post opposite Nowgam sector in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
In response to another question on reports of recent incursions of PLA troops on the Indian side in the Ladakh sector, an official transcript on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website quoted Lu as saying that "it is learnt that China's border troops were carrying out normal patrols on the Chinese side of the LAC". "There is no such a thing as border crossing. Some media twisted the fact and hyped up the China-India boundary question," he said. "We deeply regret that.
At present, China-India relations are enjoying a sound momentum of development. Friendly cooperation represents the mainstream of the public opinion in the two countries. "It is hoped that relevant media can describe the situation along the China-India border as it is and do more to promote China-India friendship, mutual trust and bilateral ties," he said.
At the same time Lu reiterated Beijing's stand on the Kashmir issue, saying that "China's position on Kashmir issue is consistent". "We believe it is an issue between India and Pakistan left over from history and should be properly handled by the two sides through dialogue and consultation," he added.
Asked whether presence of PLA troops is connected to the work related to the $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 conveyed its protest to China on 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 maintained that the corridor which is part of its Silk Road initiative is aimed at improving the people's livelihoods and in no way affects status of the Kashmir issue.
Both the sides have established 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.