ndia on Thursday announced a diplomatic ban on the Beijing Winter Olympics after Beijing decided to have Qi Fabao, a PLA regiment commander who sustained head injury while fighting in the Galwan Valley border skirmish with India, as torchbearer during the ‘Torch Relay’.
Calling the decision “regrettable”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, during his weekly media briefing, announced that India’s top diplomat in Beijing will not attend the opening and closing ceremonies of the event, which has been “politicised” by China.
He said, “Yes, we have seen the reports on this issue. It is indeed regrettable that the Chinese side has chosen to politicize an event like the Olympics.”
“I wish to inform that 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,” he added.
India had lost 20 soldiers in action in the clashes that were the deadliest since the 1962 war in one of the worst skirmishes that took place in June 2020 in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh’s eastern sector.
While China had claimed only four soldiers were killed, a new investigative report by Australian newspaper The Klaxon, claims that at least 38 Chinese troops drowned in the early stages of the June 15-16 battle while attempting to cross back over the Galwan River in the dark.
The report draws heavily on research conducted by a group of unnamed social media researchers whose sources include Chinese bloggers, information obtained from mainland-based Chinese citizens and media reports that have since been deleted by Chinese authorities.
According to the report, Indian troops went to a disputed area in Galwan Valley on the night of June 15 to remove a Chinese encroachment. They were met by China’s Col Qi Fabao and 150 Chinese soldiers who formed a battle formation instead of discussing the issue with the Indian troops, the report adds.
It is the same Qi Fabao who has now been made the face of Chinese Winter Olympics, creating a major furore.