China builds road near Siachen Glacier, India registers protest

Shaksgam Valley, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in southwestern China.

New Delhi: China is constructing a road in the Shaksgam Valley, an area of Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) transferred to Beijing in 1963, which could link Muzaffarabad through the Mustagh Pass to Yarkahnd in Xinjiang.

India expressed its objection to this road construction during a statement on Thursday, asserting that the Shaksgam Valley is part of Indian territory.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal, informed the media, “We have never accepted the so-called China Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963, through which Pakistan unlawfully attempted to cede the area to China, and have consistently conveyed our rejection of the same.”

Jaiswal further stated, “We have registered our protest with the Chinese side against illegal attempts to alter facts on the ground. We reserve the right to take necessary measures to safeguard our interests.”

New Delhi has previously voiced concerns about Chinese construction activities in the Shaksgam Valley, particularly following the 2017 stand-off in Bhutan’s Doklam region.

The newly planned road is reportedly less than 49km from the Siachen Glacier, known as the world’s highest battlefield.

Initial information about this road came from satellite imagery analysed by a user on X (formerly Twitter) with the handle @natureDesai.

In 2021, the South China Morning Post reported that Pakistan was exploring new overland border crossings with China.

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