India has lodged strong protests with China over its denial of accreditation for the Hangzhou Asian Games to some of the Indian sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh, and asserted that New Delhi reserves the right to take "suitable measures" to safeguard its interests.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Friday 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.
Describing the Chinese action as targeting of the sportspersons in a "pre-meditated" manner, Bagchi said the move violates both the spirit of the Asian Games and the rules governing their conduct as they "explicitly prohibits discrimination" against competitors from member states.
He said a "strong protest" has been lodged against China's "deliberate and selective obstruction" of some of India's sportspersons.
"The government of India has learnt that the Chinese authorities have, in a targeted and pre-meditated manner, discriminated against some of the Indian sportspersons from the state of Arunachal Pradesh by denying them accreditation and entry to the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China," Bagchi said.
"In line with our long-standing and consistent position, India firmly rejects differential treatment of Indian citizens on the basis of domicile or ethnicity. Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India," he said.
Bagchi said India reserves the right to take "suitable measures to safeguard our interests".
"China's action violates both the spirit of the Asian Games and the rules governing their conduct, which explicitly prohibits discrimination against competitors from member states," he said.
"Further, as a mark of our protest against the Chinese action, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports of India has cancelled his scheduled visit to China for the Games," Bagchi added.