Beijing Winter Olympics: No boycott, but no high-level political representation from India

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 15, 2022, 08:38 PM(IST)

Olympic rings are seen at the National Ski Jumping Centre during a government-organised media tour to Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics venues in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, China Photograph:( Reuters )

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In the last two years, China has adopted an aggressive action at the Line of Actual Control with India in Eastern Ladakh

No high-level political representation from India is expected during the winter Olympics that will happen in China from February 4 to 20.

India has previously made it clear that it will not be joining calls to boycott the Olympics in the neighboring country. 

Also read | China worried about COVID-19 spoiling Beijing Winter Olympics 2022

The joint statement after the Russia-India-China foreign ministers virtual meet last year hosted by New Delhi said, "the Ministers expressed their support to China to host Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Arif khan is the only entry from India in terms of athletes during this year's winter Olympics. He will represent India at the Slalom event (alpine skiing) and belongs to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Meanwhile, Harjinder Singh has been appointed as Chef De Mission of the Indian contingent for the upcoming sporting event. He had also led the Indian contingent in the 2018 winter Olympics in South Korea.

Also read | Most countries won't join diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics, says IOC President Thomas Bach

The Indian stance comes even as the border row with China continues. The last two years have seen the Chinese build-up an aggressive action at the Line of Actual Control with India in Eastern Ladakh. In 2020, India lost 20 of its soldiers due to the Chinese army's actions in Galwan valley. China has said that it lost four of its soldiers.

It is not necessary to send high-level political representation, but China's allies and partners would like to show support amid the west's call for a diplomatic boycott.

For President Xi Jinping, the games provide an occasion to show normalcy in the country after 2 years of the covid pandemic. The first case of covid was reported in China's Wuhan in December 2019. 

US, Canada, the UK, Australia have announced that they will diplomatically boycott Winter Olympics being hosted by China over Beijing's alleged role in human rights violations in Xinjiang. This means, that while athletes of these countries will take part in competitions, there will no representation by officials or diplomats at the games. 

Western govt has accused China has been systematically conducting human rights violations and even genocide against minority Muslim Uighurs in the country's northwest Xinjiang, something that the Chinese government consistently denies.

Two of China's close allies, Russia and Pakistan will be represented at one of the highest political levels. Russian President Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will be in the country during the inauguration of the Winter Olympics on February 4.

On February 4, that is the day of the inauguration, President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit level. PM Imran Khan will be in China for three days starting February 3.

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