NEW DELHI: India announced that its envoy will not attend the opening or closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics beginning Friday in Beijing after Beijing picked a Chinese soldier involved in the Galwan incident as an Olympic torchbearer. Terming it as regrettable, India will boycott the Olympics at the diplomatic level although it will send an athlete for the event.
What could be termed as one of the fierce encounters between the nations, the Galwan clashes in mid-June 2020 had resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel, while China had last year admitted to losing at least four of its troops.
Responding to questions on the reports of a Chinese soldier from the Galwan clashes being chosen as the torchbearer for the games, Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: “It is indeed regrettable that the Chinese side has chosen to politicize an event like the Olympics… the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of India in Beijing will not be attending the opening or the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.”
Regrettable that China has chosen to politicise the Olympics. The Indian envoy will not attend the opening or closing ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics: @MEAIndia on reports of China making Galwan soldier torchbearer pic.twitter.com/y5qoJbgVEQ— Prasar Bharati News Services पी.बी.एन.एस. (@PBNS_India) February 3, 2022
The United States also stood with India against Chinese aggression as several lawmakers slammed China for choosing the PLA soldier as a torchbearer for the Beijing Winter Olympics.
After the MEA's announcement, Prasar Bharti's CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said Doordarshan will not telecast the opening and closing ceremonies of the Bejing Winter Olympics.
“When it comes to the India-China border situation, we continue to support direct dialogue and a peaceful resolution of the disputes,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference on Thursday
The US, UK and Canada have declared a diplomatic boycott of the Games, along with Australia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Belgium, Denmark and Estonia. Although they will all send athletes to compete, no ministers or officials will attend. (Inputs from AIR News)