New Delhi: China is under fire over its decision to select a People's Liberation Army (PLA) solider — who was deployed at Galwan Valley during clashes with India in 2020 — as a torchbearer at Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Torch Relay on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the capital held a torch relay with 1,200 torchbearers. Among them, was Qi Fabao, regiment commander who was later honoured by the Chinese military after he sustained a head injury in the Galwan Valley clash in June 15, 2020.
However, China watchers have termed the country's move as a clear indication that the Beijing Games has been politicised.
A top lawmaker from the powerful US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has condemned China's decision and called it as shameful that Beijing chose a torchbearer who's part of the military command that attacked India in 2020 and is implementing genocide against the Uyghurs.
Jim Risch, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member, in a tweet added that the US will continue to support Uyghur freedoms and the sovereignty of India.
According to China's Global Times, China's four-time Olympic short track speed skating champion Wang Meng handed the torch to Fabao after the relay opened at the Olympic Foreign Park.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas. While twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash, China did not put out its numbers. However, Russian news agency TASS reported that 45 Chinese soldiers died in the standoff.