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4,000 Chinese including troops in PoK: Army Chief

New Delhi: Around 4,000 Chinese including the troops of the People`s Liberation Army of China are in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), Army Chief Gen. V K Singh said today amid the unease in the Indian establishment over their presence there.

"There are certain construction working teams, a large number is available. Around 3,000 to 4,000 of these people are present including certain people for security purposes. There are certain engineers troops. Now (like) our own engineers are combat engineers. So, in some way they are part of the PLA," he told reporters here.

The Army Chief was responding to a query on the presence of Chinese Army troops in the PoK on the sidelines of the 16th Field Marshal K M Cariappa memorial lecture delivered by national security adviser Shivshankar Menon.

The statement comes against the backdrop of concerns in India about the presence and engagement of Chinese troops in PoK, which India considers as its own land.

IAF Chief N A K Browne had made this clear when he said in an interview that increasing presence of China in PoK warrants India`s "attention".

New Delhi has already conveyed its concerns to China over the presence of its troops in PoK and its activities in that region.

Last year, there were reports of presence of about 11,000 Chinese troops in Jammu and Kashmir`s Gilgit-Baltistan region held by Pakistan but Beijing said there was no wrong-doing.

Recently, a senior Indian Army commander had said that Chinese are mainly engaged in construction activities of highways and dams in PoK as well as the northern areas which are very close to the LoC.

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