India on Friday conveyed its "serious concerns" to China over the reported presence of Chinese troops in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and rejected Beijing's description of Jammu and Kashmir as "India-controlled Kashmir".
India's Ambassador to China S Jaishankar met Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Zhang Zhijun in Beijing on Friday and conveyed New Delhi's "serious concern over China's activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)", official sources said.
The issue of the reported presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Baltistan also figured in the discussions, reliable sources said.
The envoy reiterated India's objections to the Chinese plan to build dams and other infrastructure projects in the PoK, added sources.
Jaishankar also protested against the description of Jammu and Kashmir by a Chinese official as "Indian-controlled Kashmir" and PoK as "northern part of Pakistan".
"The story that China has deployed its military in northern part of Pakistan is totally groundless and out of ulterior purpose," Jiang Yu, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said on Thursday.
"Some people are fabricating reports to destroy relations between China, Pakistan and India. But their efforts will get nowhere," she said.Jiang, however, made it clear Beijing will stick to its policy about stapled visas for Indians living in Jammu & Kashmir, a practice India has protested repeatedly, but with no impact on Beijing.
India has made it clear that issuing stapled visas amounted to questioning India's sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir.
Jaishankar returned to Beijing on Thursday after briefing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his senior ministers at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The meeting reviewed India-China relations and discussed options in dealing with what is seen in New Delhi as aggressive posturing by China on issues critical to India's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In response to a report in the New York Times (NYT) that claimed around 11,000 Chinese troops were present in Gilgit-Baltistan region administered by Pakistan, China dismissed the report late on Wednesday night, saying these reports were designed to hurt its ties with India.
India took some time to verify these reports before conveying to Beijing its concerns that came amid tension in its ties with China over the denial of visa to a senior India Army commander on grounds that his command included Jammu and Kashmir.
The NYT report linked the military presence to China’s plans to gain a "grip on the strategic area to ensure unfettered road and rail access to the Gulf through Pakistan".
On Monday, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said in New Delhi: "If true, it would be a matter of serious concern and we would do all that is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the nation."