India joins Olympic diplomatic boycott after Chinese solider injured in a deadly fight with Indian troops participates in torch relay

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India joins Olympic diplomatic boycott after Chinese solider injured in a deadly fight with Indian troops participates in torch relay
Security walk by a billboard for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics during a snowfall on January 20, 2022 in Beijing, China.Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
  • India has joined a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics just hours before the opening ceremonies.
  • The move comes after China highlighted a PLA soldier who was injured during a deadly border skirmish with India.
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India joined a US-led diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics on Thursday just hours before the controversial host formally kicks off the Winter Olympics, after China featured a soldier who was injured in a deadly skirmish with Indian troops in the games' torch relay.

"It is indeed regrettable that the Chinese side has chosen to politicize an event like Olympics," Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for India's foreign ministry, told reporters, according to Reuters.

India was not part of the Western diplomatic boycott until China made the decision to highlight Qi Fabao, a regimental commander in the People's Liberation Army, during its abbreviated torch relay. The Washington Post reports that Fabao was awarded top honors after he sustained head injures fighting Indian troops in the Galwan Valley in 2020, a border region between India and China.

The two nuclear powers have been at loggerheads after a series of confrontations near the border. Indian officials said that at least 20 of its soldiers died in the 2020 dispute. Insider previously reported that Chinese soldiers reportedly hunted down Indian troops with batons wrapped in barbed wire during brutal combat.

Doordarshan, India's state broadcaster, later said that it will not show either the opening or closing ceremonies live.

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China previously vowed that countries that boycott the games would "pay the price for their mistaken act." The US, Britain, Australia, and Canada have refused to send diplomatic representatives or official delegations to the games' ceremonies. In announcing the decision in December, the White House cited "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity" by the Chinese government.

US officials have said that a diplomatic boycott strikes the right balance between punishing Beijing for its atrocious human rights record and hurting American athletes who spend years training to compete at the top of their respective sports. President Jimmy Carter's decision to fully boycott the 1980 Moscow games remains deeply controversial.

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