Asian Games: After 3 Athletes Refused Entry, India Lodges Protest, Cancels Sports Minister’s Visit

  charlien charlien   6773   22 Sep, 2023 

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India has lodged a “strong protest” and cancelled the visit of the Indian sports minister after China refused to process the admission of three athletes from Arunachal Pradesh to take part in the Asian Games. Indian media has reported that three women Wushu martial arts players were forced to stay back as they didn’t receive their accreditation cards that are required to get a visa to travel for the Asian Games in Hangzhou. The players, Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu, are all from Arunachal Pradesh and were scheduled to leave with the Wushu contingent on a flight on Wednesday During the daily media briefing in Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning indicated that China is not willing to allow the entry of the three Arunachal sportswomen. “As the host country, China welcomes athletes from all over the world to come to Hangzhou to participate in the Asian Games with legal documents. The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh” and the southern Tibet region is part of China’s territory,” said Mao. A little later, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that the Indian government was aware of the “targeted and pre-meditated manner” in which sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh were not allowed to take part in the 19th Asian Games. He said that a “strong protest has been lodged in New Delhi and Beijing against China’s deliberate and selective obstruction of some of our sportsperson”. “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,” he said. Bagchi also announced that as a “mark of protest”, India has cancelled the scheduled visit of the minister of information, broadcasting and youth affairs and sports, Anurag Thakur, for the Asian Games. “Government of India reserves the right to take suitable measures to safeguard our interests,” he said. He reiterated that India “firmly rejects differential treatment of Indian citizens on the basis of domicile or ethnicity” and that “Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India”.

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