Diplomatic boycott or not, no Indian minister to attend Beijing Winter Olympics’22

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Beijing Winter Olympics 2022
Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 (Photo courtesy: AP)

(TibetanReview.net, Jan16’22) – India, while being not explicit in carrying out a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics Feb 2022, and having actually expressed support for it last year, is not sending any government delegation to the global sporting event, much against China’s wish.

Several major Western governments have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Games to express their outrage against China’s human right practices, especially its ongoing, widely reported genocidal policy in Xinjiang. China has vowed to retaliate.

Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan, China’s all-weather friend and India’s arch-enemy, has declared his intention to attend the Games as a mark of solidarity. Like India, Pakistan is taking part in only one event at the Games, the Alpine Skiing event, represented by a man and a woman. India’s participant in the same event, Arif khan, is from the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

India has appointed Harjinder Singh as the Chef De Mission of the Indian contingent for the Games, which will be held from Feb 4 to 20. He had also led the Indian contingent in the 2018 winter Olympics in South Korea, noted the wionews.com Jan 15. The general secretary of the Ice Hockey Association of India has been designated by the Indian Olympic Association of India.

While it is not necessary to send high-level political representation, China’s allies and partners would like to show support amid the West’s call for a diplomatic boycott, the report noted.

The report said India’s stance had come as its border row with China continued. The last two years have seen the Chinese build-up an aggressive action at the Line of Actual Control with India in Eastern Ladakh, the report noted.

In their joint communiqué on Nov 26, the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China said after their meeting in New Delhi, “the Ministers expressed their support to China to host Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

China’s official globaltimes.cn Nov 28 called it a victory in China’s stand on the border dispute with India, given the former’s position that the border situation need not affect overall bilateral ties.

Diplomatic boycott has been announced by the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia. Several other countries are also not taking part in the Beijing Winter Olympics inaugural event on Feb 4 without calling it a boycott, including Japan, which cited China’s human rights record as the reason for its diplomatic absence.

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