NEW DELHI: Government today downplayed any threat to the nation's security due to proposed construction of an observatory by China in Aksai Chin, a remote part of Jammu and Kashmir that Beijing occupied after the 1962 war.
"The news that has appeared is that of Aksai Chin which is quite far from Siachen glacier, Army Chief V K Singh told reporters.
Terming the reports that the Chinese construction could complicate the Aksai Chin dispute as "without any strong basis", official sources said the proposed site "is over 100 KMs inside their territory" and posed no threat to India.
In an interview with Xinhua, chief researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories (NAO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Yao Yongqiang said the East Asia Core Observatories Association (EACOA)- with China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan as it members- made the recommendation after two years of joint site surveying with the NAO on the Qinghai -Tibet Plateau and the Pamirs Plateau in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
Yao said a possible location for the new observatory will be in the mountains of Tibet's Ngari prefecture at an altitude of 5,100 meters.
He has also said astronomical telescopes will be installed at the Ngari observatory this year to carry out research on planetary science, star formation, gamma-ray bursts and other astronomical projects.
Aksai Chin is a remote part of J-K that Beijing occupied after the 1962 war. Pakistan ceded parts of the region to China a year later.