Three Indian Wushu athletes participating in the Asian Games 2023 were denied entry to Hangzhou, China citing visa issues. These athletes hail from the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which is viewed by China in its entirety as Chinese territory. Protesting this decision, Union Minister Anurag Thakur also cancelled his visit to China.
Wushu also referred to as Kung Fu is a multidisciplinary martial art that originated in China. Talking about the other seven players from India, along with the coaching staff, had already left for Hangzhou on Wednesday. The three athletes were also denied entry to China in July for the World University Games after Beijing issued them stapled, rather than pasted, visas.
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Addressing this issue, the Indian Government released a statement and called out the authorities for ‘differential treatment of Indian citizens on the basis of domicile or ethnicity’. The statement said, "Government of India has learnt Chinese authorities have, in a targeted and pre-meditated manner, discriminated against some Indian sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh by denying them accreditation and entry to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China," the government said today.
"In line with our long-standing and consistent position, India firmly rejects differential treatment of Indian citizens on basis of domicile or ethnicity. Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also added.
Similarly, Member of Parliament Kiren Rijiju also shared a tweet condemning this decision and called out Chinese authorities for tarnishing the values of sport.
OCA honorary life vice president Wei Jizhong, who is from China, commented about the issue in a press briefing in Hangzhou. He said, "These India athletes already got a visa to enter China. China didn't refuse any visa."
Whereas Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning stated, "China welcomes athletes from all countries with legal documents to come to Hangzhou and take part in the Asian Games. The Chinese government does not recognise the so-called Arunachal region that you mentioned. South Tibet is part of China," she added.