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Indian Envoy Won’t Attend Beijing Winter Olympics: MEA

Calling the act 'regrettable', MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during his weekly media briefing, said that China has chosen to politicize the event

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Mahima Rabia
Mahima Rabia
Journalism student covering India

INDIA: The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said the Indian Envoy will not be attending the opening or closing ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 after China positioned a PLA commander, involved in the Galwan Valley clash with India, as a torchbearer during the ‘Torch Relay’.

Calling the act ‘regrettable’, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during his weekly media briefing, said that China has chosen to politicize the event. “I wish to inform you that the Charged Affaires of the Embassy of India in Beijing will not be attending the opening or the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics,” he said.

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Soon after the announcement made by the ministry, Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati informed via Twitter that DD Sports would not telecast live the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics to be held from February 4-February 20, 2022.

The reactions came hours after US Senator Jim Risch criticized the decision of China to position the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) commander as a torchbearer at the event.

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“It’s shameful that Beijing chose a torchbearer for the Olympics 2022 who’s part of the military command that attacked India in 2020 and is implementing genocide against the Uyghurs. The US will continue to support Uyghur freedoms and the sovereignty of India,” tweeted Jim Risch.

As many as 20 Indian soldiers were killed in one of the fiercest clashes between India and China in the Galwan Valley in June 2020. China had officially put the PLA death toll at five.

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However, a recent report published in The Klaxon, an Australian investigative newspaper, has revealed that China is hiding its losses in the clash.

As per Anthony Klan, the editor of The Klaxon, a year-long investigation by Chinese social media researchers has revealed that India-China had arrived at a confrontation on June 6, 2020, following which both agreed to remove the infrastructure on the immediate area by the Galwan river.

On June 15, 2020, the Chinese army tried to remove a makeshift bridge that was used by Indian soldiers to inspect the Chinese activity, said Mr. Klan in conversation with NDTV. This led to the violent faceoff wherein at least 38 Chinese soldiers had died, as per the latest report.

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