Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports of India, Anurag Thakur, on Friday cancelled his scheduled visit to China.
The development comes as a mark of protest after three India wushu players, Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega, and Mepung Lamgu were denied entry to China, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
The rest of the Indian Wushu team, which included seven other players and staff, flew out to Hong Kong and from there boarded a flight to Hangzhou in China.
“Government of India reserves the right to take suitable measures to safeguard our interests,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
“India rejects differential treatment of Indian citizens on domicile basis,” a statement from the MEA read, on China denying accreditation to sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh.
Further, the MEA said, “China’s action violates the spirit of Asian Games, rules governing their conduct.”
The Indian players were brought back to the Sports Authority of India hostel at Delhi’s Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium.
A top source in China with the Wushu team told India Today that they had taken up the matter with the organising committee of the Asian Games and also with the OCA (Olympic Council of Asia).
They said they were hopeful that the matter would soon be resolved.
Meanwhile, in response to reports about Indian players being denied entry to China, the country’s foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning on Friday said, “As the host country, China welcomes athletes from all countries to come to Hangzhou to participate in the Asian Games with legal documents.”
“As to the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’, the Chinese government doesn’t recognise it. Zangnan (southern part of Southwest China’s Xizang Autonomous Region) is part of China’s territory,” Ning said.