Indian Government lodged strong protest with China over Beijing barring three wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh to travel for the ongoing Asian Games
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) September 22, 2023
Three Indian martial arts athletes from Arunachal Pradesh have been forced to pull out of the Asian Games in Hangzhou after not receiving clearance from the host country, according to AFP report.
External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a statement that Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur’s trip to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou was cancelled in lodging protest over China’s action.
Olympic Council Of Asia’s acting president Randhir Singh said, “We had a meeting yesterday with the Working Group as well and this has been taken up in the Working Group meeting. They are taking it up with the Government and we are also taking it up with the Government. It is under discussion with us as well. This is outside of what the Government to Government is happening. We are from the OCA side of it. We are doing it.”
The three women wushu fighters are from the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The rest of the 10-member India wushu squad, along with coaching staff, reportedly left for the Games on Wednesday.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the three Wushu athletes were approved to take part by the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee, but were unable to download their accreditation cards — which act as visas to enter China.
An AFP report quoted Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) honorary life vice president Wei Jizhong, “These India athletes already got a visa to enter China. China didn’t refuse any visa”.
Notably Arunachal Pradesh has become the latest flashpoint between India and China, already reeling from bitter relations over the Galwan Valley skirmishes along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Arunachal has been a point of conflict between India and China, which escalated last month, after Beijing released their latest standard map including Arunachal Pradesh in the map of China, designating the area as ‘South Tibet”.
However, at present, the world’s largest and experienced country with plateau and mountain troops is neither the US,Russia nor any European power house,but India”.
Wrote Huang Guozhi, senior editor of Bejing’s Modern Weaponry. This magazine, a respected defence journal, is affiliated to the state owned China North Industries Group Corporation Limited (NORINCO) the main supplier of military hardware for the PLA. Huang Guozhi added “India has the world’s largest and most experienced troops trained for high altitude battle and mountain warfare.”
( Source: News Agencies
With inputs from Pratyusha Mukherjee)