Indian sports minister cancels China trip over denial of entry to Arunachal Pradesh athletes at Asian Gamestext_fields
New Delhi: Indian Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur, has cancelled his planned visit to China in protest after Beijing denied entry to wushu athletes from the state of Arunachal Pradesh at the 2023 Asian Games.
The Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games will be held on Saturday. The Games will go on till October 8.
The Ministry of External Affairs lodged a strong protest against China's actions, accusing them of violating the spirit and rules of the Asian Games, which explicitly prohibit discrimination against athletes from member states.
India firmly rejected China's differential treatment of its citizens based on domicile or ethnicity, emphasising that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of India. The Indian government reserved the right to take suitable measures to safeguard its interests.
Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, issued a statement condemning China's selective obstruction of Indian sportspersons, characterising it as a targeted and premeditated act of discrimination.
China's actions will cast a shadow over the Asian Games, which were delayed by a year.
Last month, China released its 2023 "standard map," claiming territories including Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin, Taiwan, and the South China Sea. India had previously lodged a strong protest, stating that such claims complicate the resolution of boundary issues.
In response to China's actions, India withdrew its entire wushu team from the World University Games in Chengdu in July this year after China issued stapled visas to athletes from Arunachal Pradesh. This move led to tensions between the two countries, with Indian authorities stopping an eight-member Indian contingent from boarding minutes before departure.
These recent developments add to the ongoing border tensions between India and China, which have been a cause for concern in the region.