India's pushback on China denying wushu players, Minister cancels Asian Games visit

Sep 22, 2023 02:53 PM IST

Three wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh could not travel to Hangzhou, China for the Asian Games as they were not given clearance by China

India on Friday lodged a ‘strong’ protest against China over three wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh not being allowed to travel to Hangzhou for the Asian Games, with the union sports minister Anurag Thakur cancelling his visit to the country. Addressing the media, spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs Arindam Bagchi said India rejects the differential treatment of Indian citizens on a domicile basis and added that China's actions are violating the spirit" of the Asian Games.

PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping(MEAIndia)
PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping(MEAIndia)

“In line with our long-standing and consistent position, India firmly rejects differential treatment of Indian citizens on the basis of domicile or ethnicity. Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India. A strong protest has been lodged in New Delhi and Beijing against China's deliberate and selective obstruction of some of our sportspersons. China’s action violates both the spirit of the Asian Games and the rules governing their conduct, which explicitly prohibits discrimination against competitors from member states,” the MEA spokesperson said.

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The three wushu players - Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu - received their accreditation cards from Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC) which also acts as an entry visa. However, they could not download their travel document on Wednesday when they were scheduled to leave for the Asian Games.

Rest 10 Wushu players faced no such issue.

"Once the athletes received the accreditation cards from the organising committee, it meant that they were cleared to travel for the Asian Games. But surprisingly only these three players could not download their document and they could not board the flight," an official said.

Former sports minister Kiren Rijiju took to Twitter condemning the act by China. "This violates both the spirit of Sports & also the Rules governing the conduct of Asian Games, which explicitly prohibits discrimination against competitors from member states. Arunachal Pradesh is not a disputed territory but inalienable part of India. Entire people of Arunachal Pradesh resolutely oppose any illegal claim of China on it's land and people. International Olympic Committee should reign in China's illegitimate action," Rijiju said.

China says it did not refuse any visa to players

Amid the row, chairman of OCA's Ethics Committee Wei Jizhong denied that China did not give the players visa. he said these athletes did not accept this visa. ".I don't think this is OCA problem because China has an agreement to let all the athletes who have certified eligibility to come to compete in China. This is clear. The visa has already been granted," Wei Jizhong said.

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