India to participate in Beijing Winter Olympics sans high-level political presence

Beijing is unlikely to see a high-level political delegation from India during the February 4-20 Winter Olympics even though New Delhi is not boycotting the games, according to people in the know.

China is facing opposition to the prestigious sporting event from the US and some of its European allies over what they allege is state-sponsored atrocities against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province and Tibetans in Tibet.

New Delhi had made it clear earlier that it will not be joining calls from the West to boycott the Olympics although there is tension with China along the line of actual control (LAC). Some of America’s allies in Europe which are also close to India have a similar stance on the games.

The joint statement after the Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers’ virtual meeting last year – which was hosted by New Delhi – said, “The ministers expressed their support to China to host the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Jammu and Kashmir’s Arif khan is India’s only entry for the winter games, where he will compete in the Slalom event (alpine skiing).

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistan PM Imran Khan are likely to attend the inaugural ceremony in Beijing, according to reports.

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