India envoy to boycott opening, closing ceremonies of Beijing Olympics
India on Thursday said its envoy will not attend the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Beijing after China chose a PLA soldier involved in the Galwan Valley clash as a torchbearer.
The decision was conveyed by Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi at his weekly briefing in New Delhi.
“It is indeed regrettable that the Chinese side has chosen to politicise an event like the Olympics,” Bagchi said.
After the MEA’s announcement, Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati said Doordarshan will not telecast the opening and closing ceremonies.
Qi Fabao, a regiment commander of the People’s Liberation Army who had fought during the Galwan Valley clashes with Indian troops in June 2020 and received a commendation for his role in the fight, was one of the torchbearers for the Olympic flame for the Olympics, which will begin on February 4. His images were tweeted by the Global Times, an English-language news outlet associated with the Chinese government.
“Qi Fabao, a PLA regiment commander who sustained head injury while fighting bravely in the #Galwan Valley border skirmish with #India, is a torchbearer during Wed’s #Beijing2022 Winter Olympic Torch Relay,” the Global Times tweeted on Wednesday morning.
The United States and several other nations are staging a diplomatic boycott of the Games over human rights concerns relating to the treatment of Uyghurs in the region of Xinjiang.
Skier Arif Mohammad Khan is India’s lone entry in the Winter Games, with spectators limited by COVID-19 protocols.