New Delhi: Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has cancelled his planned visit to China in protest after three wushu players from Arunachal Pradesh were denied entry into China for the 19th Asian Games beginning in Hangzhou.
Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega, and Mepung Lamgu were subjected to discrimination by Chinese authorities who denied them entry in a “targeted and pre-meditated manner,” as stated by the Ministry of External Affairs. The rest of the team, consisting of seven other players and staff, flew to Hong Kong before heading to Hangzhou.
The Ministry of External Affairs released a statement condemning the differential treatment based on domicile or ethnicity and reaffirmed that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. The government strongly criticized Beijing for deliberately obstructing some of India’s sportspersons, noting that China’s actions violated the spirit and rules of the Asian Games, which prohibit discrimination against competitors from member states. The Ministry of External Affairs also emphasized India’s right to take suitable measures to protect its interests.
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) September 22, 2023
Following the incident, the Indian players were returned to the Sports Authority of India hostel at Delhi’s Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium.
China responded by stating that it welcomes athletes from all countries to participate in the Asian Games in Hangzhou with legal documents. They also reiterated that they do not recognize Arunachal Pradesh as part of China’s territory.
Efforts to resolve the matter have been initiated by the Wushu team, who have engaged with the organizing committee of the Asian Games and the Olympic Council of Asia, expressing hope for a resolution.