India initiates diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 after Chinese soldier appears as torchbearer

There will no diplomatic representation of India at the opening and closing ceremonies of Beijing 2022. The decision was made after a Chinese soldier, injured during combat with India, participated in the Olympic torch relay

Compartir
Compartir articulo
Olympics - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics - Torch Relay - Beijing, China - February 2, 2022. Torch bearer Qi Fabao, a regimental commander in the People's Liberation Army, relays the Olympic flame at the Winter Olympic Park.  cnsphoto via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT.
Olympics - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics - Torch Relay - Beijing, China - February 2, 2022. Torch bearer Qi Fabao, a regimental commander in the People's Liberation Army, relays the Olympic flame at the Winter Olympic Park. cnsphoto via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT.

Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, confirmed his country’s intention to stage a diplomatic boycott of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Thursday.

His announcement came during a weekly media briefing the day after Beijing 2022 organizers had included a People’s Liberation Army regimental commander in the Olympic torch relay.

Qi Fabao, a regimental commander within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), was pictured running with the Olympic torch on Wednesday. Qi was present, and reportedly severely injured, in a deadly border clash between India and China in 2020.

Tensions between the two countries have risen in recent years, with a long-term border dispute boiling over into occasional conflict.

As reported by Around the Rings in November, India originally appeared to express their support for China hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics during the 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of China, Russia, and India last year.

Fireworks explode near the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, during a rehearsal ahead of the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, in Beijing, China January 30, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Fireworks explode near the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, during a rehearsal ahead of the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, in Beijing, China January 30, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

However, Qi’s inclusion as a torchbearer by local organizers was labeled as politicization of the Winter Olympics by India’s Ministry of External Affairs. Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated, “it is indeed regrettable that the Chinese side has chosen to politicize an event like the Olympics.” He went on to confirm that there would be no diplomatic representation of India at the opening or closing ceremonies of Beijing 2022.

In response to the announcement, Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO of India’s public broadcaster Prasar Bharati, confirmed that Doordarshan Sports would not “telecast live” either the opening or closing ceremony of Beijing 2022.

India will be represented at the 2022 Winter Olympics by a single athlete, Arif Mohd Khan. Khan is scheduled to compete in alpine skiing, alongside acting as the country’s flagbearer during the opening ceremony. Khan’s participation at the Winter Olympics remains unaffected by Thursday’s announcement according to the Washington Post.

KEEP READING