Anurag Thakur cancels visit for Asian Games after Beijing refuses accreditation to wushu players
New Delhi, September 22, 2023: As per media reports, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday cancelled his visit to China to protest Beijing’s denial of accreditation to three sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh for participation in the Hangzhou Asian Games.
According to the news published in The Tribune, in July, Anurag had announced the withdrawal of the entire wushu team after three of its members who were from Arunachal were given stapled visas for participating in the World University Games in Chengdu. The same three sportswomen of the wushu team have now been denied accreditation.
The Chinese have now denied them accreditation to the games, which effectively denies them entry as accreditation serves as a visa.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India had lodged a strong protest with China, with New Delhi “reserving the right to take suitable measures to safeguard its interests”.
This is the second time in three weeks that India has lodged a diplomatic protest with China. Earlier, it was the first country to react strongly to a new Chinese map that included vast tracts of maritime domain and terrain that is claimed by other countries. – The Tribune reported.
Later, almost 10 countries also protested against the Chinese map. In a statement, Bagchi said, “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.” He had made similar observations when stapled visas were offered to the three members of the Wushu team from Arunachal.
Asked about the denial of accreditation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said the Chinese government had never “recognised” Arunachal Pradesh. “As the host country, China welcomes athletes from all countries to the games using legal identification. The Chinese government has never recognised so-called ‘Arunachal’. The area of Zangnan is Chinese territory,” she said.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu also criticised the Chinese move as “against the established diplomatic norms” and in “utter disregard for the spirit of sports”. (The Tribune)