China cans Norway visits over Nobel
Oslo – China has cancelled at least four official visits to and from Norway in apparent anger over last week’s decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
Among three Chinese delegations that cancelled visits to Norway was one comprising supreme court representatives, Ragnhild Imerslund of the Foreign Ministry told Norwegian news agency NTB.
Meanwhile, a Norwegian delegation including officials from several ministries cancelled a planned visit next week to China after being told Chinese authorities did not have time to meet them, NTB said.
Earlier this week, Chinese officials cancelled two planned meetings with Norway’s visiting Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg- Hansen over the peace prize award.
Other members of Berg-Hansen’s delegation met later with Chinese fisheries officials, Norwegian business daily Dagens Naeringsliv said.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday awarded the 2010 peace prize to Liu for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”.
The Chinese government reacted angrily, calling Liu – currently serving an 11-year sentence for inciting subversion of state power – “a criminal” and saying the award violated the principles of the prize.
Liu authored Charter 08, a political manifesto similar to the Charter 77 of one-time Czech dissidents.
He was arrested at his Beijing home ahead of the charter’s planned release.