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China says PoK region belongs to Pakistan

shriram | 3rd December 2014 | Politics And Government
China says PoK region belongs to Pakistan

    A Chinese statement on Tuesday describing the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as "Pakistan's" has raised eyebrows, even as China goes ahead with an ambitious economic corridor through the contested territory despite Indian concerns.
Authorities in China's far-western Xinjiang region on Tuesday announced the closure of the strategically-significant Khunjerab Pass, which links Xinjiang and PoK, for the winter season.
The announcement issued by China's State-run and official Xinhua news agency described the pass as "a strategic point on the Karakoram highway which links China's Xinjiang with Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan region".
Despite the official stance of neutrality, India has expressed growing concerns over increasing Chinese investments in projects in PoK and stapled visas issued to Indians from Jammu and Kashmir, with the suggestion that the moves reflected a shift from China's earlier position on the dispute.
China subsequently withdrew the stapled visa policy for Indian citizens, but has continued with an ambitious economic corridor linking Xinjiang to the Pakistani port of Gwadar. The corridor, which includes a plan to expand the Karakoram Highway and build a railway link through PoK, has been backed by Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of his new "Silk Road economic belt" pet project.


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