Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday strongly condemned the denial of visa by China to Wushu athletes from Arunachal Pradesh, saying the northeastern state is not a disputed territory but an inalienable part of India.
In a strongly-worded statement, the MP from Arunachal Pradesh said the people of the state resolutely oppose any illegal claim of China on its land and the populace and asked the International Olympic Committee to reign in China's illegitimate action.
"I strongly condemn this act by China to deny visas to our Wushu athletes from Arunachal Pradesh who were to participate in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou," he said.
The union minister said China's act violates both the spirit of sports and also the rules governing the conduct of Asian Games, which explicitly prohibits discrimination against competitors from member states.
"Arunachal Pradesh is not a disputed territory but an inalienable part of India. Entire people of Arunachal Pradesh resolutely oppose any illegal claim of China on its land and people. International Olympic Committee should reign in China's illegitimate action," he said.
Rijiju said the government of India has lodged very strong protest in New Delhi and Beijing against China's deliberate and selective obstruction of some of our sportspersons.
"Further, as a mark of our protest against the Chinese action, Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports of India has cancelled his scheduled visit to China for the Games. Government of India reserves the right to take suitable measures to safeguard our interests," he said.
India has asserted that it reserves the right to take "suitable measures" to safeguard its interests.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said as a mark of India's protest against China's discriminatory behaviour, Union I&B and Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur has cancelled his scheduled visit to China for the Games.
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