Projects in PoK may crop up in talks with China | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Projects in PoK may crop up in talks with China

delhi Updated: Sep 04, 2012 01:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Defence minister AK Antony on Monday said India had asked China to stop its projects in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), indicating that the issue is likely to be raised during talks with his Chinese counterpart General Liang Guanglie who is visiting the country.

Guanglie, who is leading a 23-member delegation, is the first Chinese defence minister to visit India in eight years.

On the eve of his talks with Guanglie, Antony told Parliament that the government was aware of the infrastructure projects taken up by Beijing in PoK and had raised the matter with China. Antony said China had occupied 43,180 sq km of Indian territory in J&K, including 5,180 sq in PoK.

Chinese activities in PoK include construction of highways, dams and hydroelectric projects. Beijing has said in the past it would carry on with its projects in PoK, despite India asking it to take "long-term view" of bilateral ties and cease such activities.

Guanglie’s visit is the last major high-level visit from China ahead of a leadership change expected in November.

The visit is also expected to provide fresh momentum to the bilateral defence relationship, which suffered a major setback two years ago when Beijing refused to host then Northern Army commander Lt-Gen BS Jaswal as his jurisdiction included J&K.

This led to India freezing all bilateral defence exchanges with China, barring the border personnel meeting held along disputed borders.

Guanglie's visit is expected to set the contours for increased military exchanges and confidence building measures along the disputed borders, defence ministry officials said.