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India Stages Last-Minute Diplomatic Boycott Of Beijing Olympics After Chinese...

• https://www.zerohedge.com, By Venus Upadhayaya

India announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics on Feb. 3 after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) picked a People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldier involved in a bloody 2020 conflict with India as a torchbearer in the Games' torch relay. India's state broadcaster also decided to not telecast the opening and the closing ceremonies of the Games as a result.

"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," said Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday.

The Indian government was considering sending its top diplomat to Beijing to attend the opening of the games until this week, but then Beijing made a PLA regiment commander, Qi Fabao, a torchbearer of the games on Wednesday, irking India. Qi had been involved in a violent border clash with Indian soldiers in the Himalaya's Galwan Valley in June 2020.

New Delhi had earlier decided to set aside its problems with China following a meeting between the foreign ministers of India, Russia, and China in November, and supported the Games that were boycotted by many countries including the United States.

This was because traditionally India doesn't believe in politicalizing sports events and has never boycotted one since its existence, according to Srikanth Kondapalli, a professor of Chinese studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

But India was blindsided when Qi who had sustained head injuries during the Galwan clash took the flame from Wang Meng, China's four-time Olympic short-track speed skating champion. While doing so both "made military salutes to each other," reported Chinese state media Global Times.


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