Beijing: China today defended the presence of its personnel in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), saying they were not targeted against any country but are only involved in "cooperative activities" to improve the livelihood of local people.
Reacting to Defence Minister Arun Jaitley`s comments in Parliament that India has conveyed its concerns to China about the presence of Chinese personnel in PoK, the Foreign Ministry here said Kashmir issue is a left over from history and it should be resolved between India and Pakistan.
"China`s relevant cooperative activities in Pakistan administered Kashmir are entirely focused on the local peoples` livelihood and not targeted at any third party," the Ministry said in an exclusive response to a question from PTI.
Besides construction projects, China is actively pursuing plans with Pakistan to build an economic corridor connecting its Xinjiang and Pakistan`s Gwadar Port via PoK.
The multi-billion project involved highways, rail and pipelines.
Elaborating China`s stand on the PoK issue, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said "on the issue of Kashmir, our position is clear and consistent. Kashmir issue is an issue left over from history between India and Pakistan".
"As a neighbour and friend of India and Pakistan, China advocates that the Kashmir issue should be properly resolved through dialogue and consultations between India and Pakistan," it said.
Jaitley had told Lok Sabha that the Indian government keeps an eye on Chinese presence in PoK and has asked China to "cease such activities" there.
"Government pays close attention to Chinese activities in PoK and it has conveyed its concerns to China and asked them to cease such activities," he had said in reply to a written query in Lok Sabha.
He said issues are discussed by the government in regular meetings with Chinese counterparts and "entire gamut of bilateral, regional and global issues are discussed".
The presence of Chinese Army troops has been witnessed in recent times and there numbers were estimated to be around 5,000 by the Army couple of years ago.
They were mainly involved in construction activities there.