New Delhi: Indian Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has cancelled his visit to China for the Asian Games after three Arunachal Wushu athletes were denied regular Chinese visas for participating in the Games.
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi said that India reserved the right to take measures to safeguard its interests.
"As a mark of our protest against the Chinese action, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports of India has cancelled his scheduled visit to China for the Games. Government of India reserves the right to take suitable measures to safeguard our interest," Bagchi said.
The MEA spokesperson said that India rejects the treatment of its players by Chinese Authorities.
"Government of India has learnt that the Chinese authorities have, in a targeted and pre-meditated manner, discriminated against some of the Indian sportspersons from the state of Arunachal Pradesh by denying them accreditation and entry to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China" he 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," Arindam Bagchi added.
Two of the Wushu players hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu who were approved to take part by the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023 Organising Committee were unable to download their accreditation cards - which act as visas to enter China.
The third athlete Nyeman Wangsu, who managed to download her accreditation, was informed that she would not be allowed to travel beyond Hong Kong.
The athletes were to take part in individual events of the martial arts sport.
The Ministry of External Affairs said that a protest had been lodged in New Delhi and Beijing.
"A strong protest has been lodged in New Delhi and Beijing against China's deliberate and selective obstruction of some of our sportspersons. China’s action violates both the spirit of the Asian Games and the rules governing their conduct, which explicitly prohibits discrimination against competitors from member states," Bagchi said.