Ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, a soldier who battled against the Indian side in the Galwan Valley in 2020 was announced as one of the torchbearers of the Olympic flame. Qi Fabao, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unit commander who was injured in the Galwan battle, took part in the torch relay event on Wednesday. In a tweet, Global Times, an English-language news portal linked to the Chinese government, posted his images.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Jim Risch, Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member, condemned China’s move. He criticized Beijing for selecting a torchbearer for the Winter Olympics who was a member of the military command that attacked India in 2020, as well as for “implementing genocide against the Uyghurs,” as another allegation frequently leveled against China for cracking down on ethnic and religious minorities in the Xinjiang region.
The Chinese government has openly attempted to present Qi as a hero by appointing him a torchbearer, highlighting his involvement in the Galwan Valley battle. The action appears to be an expression of China’s hostile sentiment towards India.
Furthermore, the Winter Olympics begin on Friday but have been hampered by politics and concerns about the coronavirus. The United States and several other Western countries have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics due to concerns over China’s treatment of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang area.