India’s Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Olympics Condemns China’s Use of Army Commander Qi Fabao as Torchbearer

India’s Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Olympics Condemns China’s Use of Army Commander Qi Fabao as Torchbearer

Byron Pillay
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:55 PM
  • The Beijing Winter Olympics' opening ceremony will get underway today without any Indian diplomats present
  • India has decided to diplomatically boycott the Winter Olympics after Qi Fabao was selected as a torchbearer
  • Qi Fabao is a commander in the People's Liberation Army and was involved in a skirmish that left 20 Indian soldiers dead

India has staged a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics after China’s use of a controversial Army Commander as a torchbearer.

Qi Fabao, a commander in the People's Liberation Army was involved in deadly border clashes between India and China which left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.

India, Beijing Olympics, China, Army Commander, Qi Fabao, World
India has staged a last-minute diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics after controversial Army Commander Qi Fabao was elected a torchbearer. Image: @AakashHassan/ @AbhishekBhalla7
Source: Twitter

Qi Fabao was injured during the 2020 clash in the Galwan Valley but has been praised by many Chinese nationals as a hero.

His presence, though, as a torchbearer for the Olympic Games has angered India among other countries. As part of the diplomatic boycott, India's envoy in Beijing will not attend the Opening Ceremony scheduled for today, CNN confirmed.

Other countries have also staged diplomatic boycotts concerning China’s controversial human rights record. Indian broadcaster, Doordarshan, has also stated it would not televise the opening or closing ceremonies of the games live. India only has one athlete competing this year.

The use of Qi Fabao as a torchbearer also drew criticism from the United States of America. Jim Risch, a member of the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, described the selection as ‘shameful,’ NDTV reports.

Risch isn’t the only one though. Social media is abuzz with people condemning China. Here’s how social media has responded:


"China is an arrogant country, and it surely will be the main villain in the next world war …. With power should have had come the responsibility but if unworthy, they never will be responsible. Other countries should follow India in boycotting #BoycottBeijingOlympics #QiFabao"


"@OIC Degradation of Olympic Charter..Qi Fabao, Chinese PLA regiment commander, who sustained head injury in the Galwan clash with India, was a torchbearer at Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic..Well he is not a Sportsmen and adding Chinese politics to Olympics Spirits is unfair.."


"Qi Fabao was slowly being prepared to become the mascot of new Chinese nationalism. So I wasn't surprised to see him carrying the Olympic torch. I have said it before that Delhi shouldn't have given the official backing to the Olympics."


"Stupid Chinese simply got themselves more negative publicity and ensured India also joined the bandwagon of #BoycottBeijing2022 by making PLA Regiment Commander Qi Fabao (who was captured by India during Galwan Valley Clash of 2020) as a torch bearer."

Jubilation in China as legendary actor Jackie Chan carries Olympic torch atop Great Wall

Ahead of the Winter Olympic Games scheduled from February 4 to 20 in Beijing, a legendary and comic actor, Jackie Chan, joined other athletes in carrying the torch, Sports Brief had earlier reported.

Several other Chinese Olympic medalists were also spotted along with actor Jackie Chan as they all took turns carrying the Olympic flame along the Great Wall. The 67-year Hong Kong action film star Jackie Chan has continued to support the Beijing government.

Due to COVID-19, the exercise has been shortened to hold for three days as the Winter Games is believed to be much more modest than the globe-spanning relay for Beijing's 2008 Summer Games.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.