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Report: India withdraws wushu team from World University Games over visa controversy with China

Published at :July 29, 2023 at 10:53 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : MyKhel)

Ashwathy Rajendran

Three Indian athletes from Arunachal Pradesh were given stapled visas instead of stamped ones by China.

India has taken a firm stand against China's issuance of stapled visas to athletes from Arunachal Pradesh by withdrawing its entire wushu team from the World University Games in Chengdu. The decision made in protest was announced just hours after an eight-member contingent- including five athletes, a coach and two support staff were prevented from boarding their flight in New Delhi airport on Thursday midnight.

Coach Raghvendra Singh revealed that immigration officials and CISF personnel stopped the contingent at the boarding gate without providing any reason and claiming they were acting on government instructions. This controversy arose after China issued stapled visas instead of stamped ones to three athletes -Nyeman Wangsu, Onilu Tega and Mepung Lamgu from Arunachal Pradesh who were slated to participate in the wushu championship in China.

India's Ministry for External Affairs (MEA) promptly responded to China's action deeming it "unacceptable" and asserting that India reserves the right to respond appropriately.

This is not the first instance of China issuing stapled visas to athletes from Arunachal Pradesh as there have been past occurrences that were also raised by India.

The World University Games, where the wushu competitions are scheduled to be held from July 29 to August 3 will now see India's absence in this particular sport.

However, the decision has also raised concerns about Arunachal Pradesh athletes' participation in the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8. Sportspersons from Arunachal are set to compete in karate, skateboarding, and taekwondo events, and the stapled visa issue could potentially impact their participation in the prestigious Asian Games.

The incident has further strained the relations between India and China and it remains to be seen how the situation develops in the coming days. India's decision to withdraw the entire wushu team from the World University Games serves as a strong statement against the use of stapled visas and reaffirms the country's stance on the matter.


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