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Kiren Rijiju condemns China denying wushu players at Asian Games: ‘Violating spirit of sports’

Sep 22, 2023 03:44 PM IST

This is the second instance in two months that the same three players were unable to visit China for a competition.

Union minister Kiren Rijiju, who served as the former sports minister, condemned the act of China denying three wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh at the Asian Games, saying that it is a “violation of the spirit of sports” as well as the “violation of rules governing the conduct of Asian Games”. He also asserted that Arunachal Pradesh is not a disputed territory but an inalienable part of India.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju(PTI)
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju(PTI)

Also read: Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend opening ceremony of Asian Games in Hangzhou

“I strongly condemn this act by China to deny visas to our Wushu Athletes from Arunachal Pradesh who were to participate in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou. 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,” Rijiju wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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He added, “…Entire people of Arunachal Pradesh resolutely oppose any illegal claim of China on its land and people. The International Olympic Committee should reign in China's illegitimate action.”

On Wednesday, 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, while the rest of the players did not face any issues.

This is the second instance in two months that the same three players were unable to visit China for a competition.

In July, the players could not play at the World University Games in Chengdu, China since they were reportedly given stapled visas (visas meant to indicate that China doesn’t recognise India’s sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh) by China.

India lodges strong protest against China

On Friday, India lodged a ‘strong’ protest against China 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 that India “firmly rejects the differential treatment of Indian citizens on the basis of domicile or ethnicity.”

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.

"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 in a statement.

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