Beijing : China on Tuesday denied as “unnecessary” speculation reports that it was planning to build a military base at Jiwani in Pakistan’s Balochistan province close to the strategic Chabahar port, which is being jointly developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan, reports PTI.

According to reports, Pakistan may allow China to build the military base in Jiwani which is also close the Gwadar port being developed by Beijing.

The Global Times quoted a Washington Times report that China is in talks with Pakistan to build its second overseas military base as part of a push for greater maritime capabilities along strategic sea routes.

“I am not aware of what you mentioned,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told the media when asked to comment on the report.

The media in China and abroad said that Pakistan offered the key location to China as a retaliation to US President Donald Trump’s New Year Day criticism of Islamabad for not cracking down on terrorist safe havens in the country.

The Chinese media has been speculating that Trump’s efforts to step up pressure on Pakistan may move it closer to Islamabad as Beijing is involved in a number of projects in the country under the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “As you know building of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” Lu said.

Meanwhile, a video on Tuesday surfaced of troops from India and China shaking hands apparently to resolve a dispute at Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh. Though the veracity of the video could not be ascertained, official sources said it appeared to be genuine.

China mum on troop reduction in Doklam

Beijing: China did not contradict Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s claim that it has significantly reduced the number of troops in Doklam.

Beijing, however, re-asserted its claims over Doklam and said patrolling and stationing of troops in the region was its sovereign right.

“The Chinese border troops’ patrolling and stationing in the Dong Lang area is exercising sovereignty rights in accordance with the stipulations of historical conventions and upholding the territorial sovereignty,” the Foreign Ministry told IANS, when asked about Rawat’s remarks.

“The Dong Lang area has all along been part of China and under China’s continuous and effective jurisdiction. There is no dispute in this regard,” the ministry said in a statement.

Gen Rawat on Monday said there was a major reduction of Chinese troops in Doklam.

India and Chinese armies were locked in a 73-day stand-off at Doklam in the Sikkim section of their border.

The crisis was resolved in August last year after both sides retreated from the point of the face-off.

But the Chinese beefed their presence in the plateau claimed by Thimpu and Beijing.

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