The Asia Olympic Council is currently examining the visa-related concerns faced by Indian athletes for their trip to China
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the organizers of the Asian Games are currently addressing the issue concerning three Indian athletes who are unable to participate in the games in China due to a visa problem. Acting OCA President Raja Randhir Singh mentioned on Sunday that they are actively investigating the matter.
“OCA is actively looking into it, and so are the organizers and the government,” Singh stated during a press conference in the host city of Hangzhou, China. He noted that due to the diplomatic nature of the issue, it is receiving close attention, and they hope for a positive resolution.
The visa problem arose when three wushu fighters from the state of Arunachal Pradesh were issued stapled visas instead of the typically stamped ones. India’s foreign ministry has clarified that stapled visas are not considered valid by India.
Wei Jizhong, the chairman of the OCA’s ethics committee, previously informed reporters that China did not deny entry to the athletes. However, the issuance of visas on loose sheets of paper has been interpreted as China’s way of challenging India’s sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh, a region near the China-India border that Beijing claims as part of Tibet. New Delhi strongly refutes this claim and maintains that Arunachal Pradesh has always been an integral part of India.
It is important to note that China and India have a history of territorial disputes, including a war in 1962 over their disputed Himalayan border. Tensions between the two countries flared up again in 2020 following a border clash in which 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers lost their lives.
The Asian Games, which were delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, feature approximately 12,400 athletes from 45 nations competing in 40 sports, vying for a total of 481 gold medals.