New Delhi/Beijing: India fumes after China denied visas to three wushu players from India who could not join their team in Hangzhou for the 19th Asian Games. The three players hail from Arunachal Pradesh and China stated it has never recognized the “so-called Arunachal”.
As a mark of India’s protest against the Chinese action, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports of India cancelled his scheduled visit to China for the Games.
Asserting that “Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India”, the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “Government of India reserves the right to take suitable measures to safeguard our interests”.
In line with India’s long-standing and consistent position, New Delhi today “firmly” rejected the differential treatment of Indian citizens on the basis of domicile or ethnicity.
Bagchi said India lodged a “strong protest in New Delhi and Beijing” against China’s deliberate and selective obstruction of some of our sportspersons” after the Government of India learnt that “the Chinese authorities have, in a targeted and pre-meditated manner, discriminated against some of the Indian sportspersons from the state of Arunachal Pradesh by denying them accreditation and entry to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China”.
However, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters in Beijing today, “The area of Zangnan (Chinese name for Arunachal) is Chinese territory”.
India stated that China’s action violated both the spirit of the Asian Games and the rules governing their conduct, which explicitly prohibits discrimination against competitors from member states.
Mao Ning, however, said that as the host country, “China welcomes athletes from all countries to the Games using legal identification”. She added that the Hangzhou Asian Games was a “prestigious large-scale multi-sport event hosted by China since the Beijing Winter Olympics”.
Earlier, it may be mentioned that China had shown Arunachal and Aksai Chin as its territory in its latest official map released in August 2023, which invited a strong protest from India.
– global bihari bureau