Beijing Winter Olympics: MEA spokesman regrets China decides to politicize Olympics
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) announced on Thursday that India will not participate in the opening or closing ceremony of the 17-day long 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The decision comes after China selected a military commander involved in the Galvan Valley conflict to carry its torch for a mega-sporting event. In doing so, China wants to honor that soldier in the same way.
“It is unfortunate that China has decided to politicize the Olympics. Indian ambassadors will not attend the opening or closing ceremonies of the Beijing Winter Olympics,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi told a news conference.
At the same time, Shashi Shekhar Vempati, head of Prasar Bharati, also announced that DD Sports would not be airing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, following the Foreign Ministry’s announcement.
On June 15, 2020, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) regiment commander involved in the conflict with India in the Galvan Valley was selected by China to carry the Winter Olympic torch to Beijing. Disputes on the East Ladakh border line escalated after clashes in the Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020.
In one of the most serious military clashes between the two sides in decades, 20 Indian Army members lost their lives in the incident.
Galvan Valley clashes: At least 42 Chinese soldiers were killed, not 4, during the Galvan clashes, Australian newspaper reports claim.
In February last year, China officially acknowledged that five Chinese military officers and soldiers had been killed in clashes with Indian troops, although it was widely believed that the death toll was high.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and the heads of 30 states and international organizations are scheduled to attend the opening ceremony, which the United States, the European Union and several other countries are diplomatically boycotting to protest. Allegations of human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in China’s restive Xinjiang province.
The Pakistani prime minister has left for China on a four-day official visit to attend the opening ceremony and meet with the country’s top leadership, including President Xi Jinping.