India has lodged a strong protest with China over its refusal to grant clearance for three wushu (martial arts) players from Arunachal Pradesh to participate in the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou. The athletes have been forced to withdraw from the competition due to China's denial of entry.
This incident has further strained relations between India and China, which have already been marred by tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) following the Galwan Valley skirmishes.
Condeming this act of China Cabinet Minister of Earth Sciences in his official x handle wrote, "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. Arunachal Pradesh is not a disputed territory but inalienable part of India. Entire people of Arunachal Pradesh resolutely oppose any illegal claim of China on it's land and people. International Olympic Committee should reign in China's illegitimate action."
India expressed its opposition to China's actions, stating that they violate the spirit of the Asian Games and the rules governing their conduct. These rules explicitly prohibit discrimination against participants from member states.
India's External Affairs Ministry spokesman, Arindam Bagchi, emphasized that Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur's planned visit to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou was canceled as a form of protest against China's actions.
The three female wushu athletes in question hail from Arunachal Pradesh, a northeastern state in India. While they were approved to participate by the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee, they encountered difficulties in downloading their accreditation cards, which serve as entry visas to China.
Arunachal Pradesh has been a contentious issue between India and China, and tensions flared recently when China released an updated standard map that included Arunachal Pradesh within its territory, referring to the region as "South Tibet."