The Indian government has pulled out of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony after reports that one of the Chinese torchbearers was a Chinese military commander involved in deadly clashes with Indian troops in the Himalayan border area of Ladakh in 2020 that killed at least 20 Indian soldiers.
AP reports that “India’s foreign affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi on Thursday said it was ‘regrettable that the Chinese side has chosen to politicize an event like the Olympics.’” The spokesman added that the Indian Embassy in Beijing would also not send a representative to the closing ceremonies.
India now joins the United States and 17 other nations (such as Australia, Britain and Canada) diplomatically boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics over a range of issues, including, as the White House noted, the “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses.”
But that isn’t all China is guilty of. In recent years, China’s communist leaders have crushed democratic rights and freedoms in Hong Kong and threatened to invade democratic Taiwan. They have also brutally repressed ethnic minorities and Christians throughout China, and Tibet, and have forcibly detained as many as a million Uyghurs and other Muslims in in re-education camps in Xinjiang.
The diplomatic boycott does not prevent athletes from participating in the games, only government officials.
“For the Chinese, obviously, they’re not happy,” says Lisa Neirotti, a professor of sport management at George Washington University. “They’d rather have no boycott, whether it’s diplomatic or not.
Among those roughly two dozen leaders attending the Winter Games are Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Emir Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar. Meanwhile there is the growing concern that if an athlete offends the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – perhaps protesting the Uyghur cultural genocide, Tibet or Hong Kong, the Chinese government could react very poorly.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.