Indian diplomats in Beijing will not attend the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics (February 4-20) following reports of China making a PLA soldier involved in the 2020 Galwan clashes one of the torchbearers for the quadrangular Games.
“Yes, we have seen reports on this issue. It’s indeed regrettable that the Chinese side has chosen events like Olympics to politicise the Galwan valley issue. Our diplomats in Beijing will attend the opening and closing ceremonies of Beijing Winter Olympics,” said Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs.
The soldier in question, who has been identified as Qi Fabao, is reportedly a regimental commander of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Fabao was grievously injured during the bloody clash between the PLA and Indian troopers in the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh in June 2020.
Fabao was among the 1,200 torchbearers for the Winter Games. He was hailed as a hero by the Chinese state media, Global Times, which first reported his participation in the Winter Games.
Earlier, several countries, including the US and the UK, had said that they would boycott the Games diplomatically as a mark of protest against the human rights abuses carried out by the ruling Communist Party regime in China.