In a report that is likely to strain the ties between New Delhi and Beijing, China’s official news agency, Xinhua, has referred to Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), as “Pakistan”.
Notably, China has said that it would not take sides as far as India-Pakistan border dispute is concerned.
India considers Gilgit-Baltistan a part of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In a news report released on Tuesday, Xinhua described the “Khunjerab Pass on the China-Pakistan border” as a strategic point “which links China’s Xinjiang with Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region”.
The news came days after China and Pakistan kicked off their multi-billion dollar Economic Corridor project that passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir by laying the foundation of a fenced four-lane motorway.
The 60-km-long four-lane fenced Hazara Motorway in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province would cost USD 297 million and take two years to complete.
India expressed its reservations to China over the corridor as it will pass through the PoK. China, meanwhile, defended the project, saying it will help in regional development.