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India, China in Pakistan Kashmir row

  • Story Highlights
  • India urges China to cease "activities in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan"
  • China's Hu reported as touting projects with Pakistan where India disputes claim
  • New Delhi accuses Beijing of "occupying" about 39,000 square km in Kashmir region
From Harmeet Shah Singh
CNN
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NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- India protested China's reported insistence on continuing projects in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, barely a day after both New Delhi and Beijing were in a tense row over a border region along Tibet.

The Indian External Affairs Ministry was reacting Wednesday to the Chinese president's remarks reported by Xinhua in connection with his country's activities in part of Kashmir that New Delhi claims is held illegally by Islamabad.

Pakistan makes similar claims over the Kashmir region under India's control.

"The Chinese side is fully aware of India's position and our concerns about Chinese activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"We hope that the Chinese side will take a long-term view of the India-China relations, and cease such activities in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry was reacting to a Xinhua dispatch that quoted Chinese President Hu as saying, "We are glad to witness the smooth progress of a number of major cooperative projects under the joint efforts of both sides, such as the Neelum-Jhelum hydro-electric project and the Karakorum Highway (KKH) upgrading project."

On Tuesday, India and China, which fought a brief but bitter border war in 1962, were engaged in tit-for-tat protests apparently over the Indian prime minister's recent visit to the mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu has expressed "strong dissatisfaction" on the visit by an Indian leader who was not named though in the online statement.

"We urge the Indian side to take China's solemn concerns seriously and do not stir up trouble at the disputed area with a view to ensuring the sound development of China-India relations," the statement read.

India came out with its own strong reaction, saying Ma's remarks would not help talks the two countries are holding over their border dispute.

India insisted Arunachal Pradesh is an "integral" and inalienable" part of India.

China lays claim to 90,000 square km (34,750 square miles) of land in that Himalayan region governed by India.

On its part, New Delhi accuses Beijing of "occupying" about 38,000 square km (14,670 square miles) in the Kashmir region.

India also alleges Pakistan has ceded 5,180 km (3,220 miles) in Kashmir to China.

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