MEA lodges strong protest as China denies entry to sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh at Asian Games
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur's trip to 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou cancelled as mark of protest
India has lodged a strong protest with China after Beijing denied entry and accreditation for the ongoing 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou to three wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh.
"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," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Friday.
Responding to media queries on the issue, he also informed that Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur's trip to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou had been cancelled as a mark of protest over China's action.
"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," the MEA Spokesperson said.
China’s action comes less than a month after it released the so-called 2023 "standard map” of China that lays claim to India’s territory, including parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin (which was occupied during the 1962 war). India had rejected the claims and lodged a strong protest.
"We have today lodged a strong protest through diplomatic channels with the Chinese side on the so called 2023 "standard map” of China that lays claim to India’s territory,” the MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to media queries on the development on August 29, 2023. “We reject these claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question," he added.
India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had described China’s claim as "absurd". China had an old habit of putting out maps with territories that were not theirs, he told NDTV. "Making absurd claims does not make other people's territories yours," he said.
In June 2020, a tense standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh had led to a violent face-off in Galwan Valley. Twenty Indian soldiers had lost their lives. A very large number of Chinese troops were also killed though China has never officially confirmed the actual number of deaths. Multiple rounds of talks since then have led to a disengagement at several places, including in Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, and Gogra-Hot Springs (PP-15). Talks are continuing on ensuring disengagement at the remaining friction points.
The 19th round of India- China Corps Commander Level Meeting was held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side on August 13-14, 2023, with both sides describing the discussions as positive and constructive. There was, however, no announcement of any fresh disengagement along the remaining friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector along the Eastern Ladakh region.
The top Indian leadership has repeatedly stressed that respecting the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is essential for normalising India-China bilateral ties.
The matter was discussed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday (August 24, 2023).
Briefing the media after the interaction, India's Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said Prime Minister Modi highlighted India's concerns on the unresolved issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas.
Prime Minister Modi told President Xi during the conversation that maintaining peace and tranquillity in border areas and respecting the Line of Actual Control (LAC) were essential for normalising bilateral relations, Foreign Secretary Kwatra said.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has also said that normalcy in bilateral ties was not possible till there was peace and tranquillity on the borders (Line of Actual Control or LAC). Responding to a question at a special media briefing on nine years of the Narendra Modi government on June 8, 2023, he maintained that China tried to coerce India in 2020 during the Galwan Valley stand-off by violating existing agreements.
"We want peace with China, but if peace agreements are violated then what can be done,” he remarked. EAM Jaishankar also stated that the India-China “relationship is impacted, and the relationship will continue to be impacted”.