Chinese reaction to Nobel Peace Prize winner regrettable: Norway


Oslo: China’s reaction to last week’s decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was regrettable, the Norwegian government said Friday.

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Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store conveyed Oslo’s view during a meeting with China’s ambassador Tang Guaqiang, Norwegian news agency NTB reported.

Store said Norway “wishes to continue the broad cooperation with China in a number of areas of mutual interest”.

“I, therefore, expressed regret over the reactions we have seen from the Chinese during the past week,” he added.

Since the peace prize announcement, China has cancelled planned meetings with Norwegian officials and several Chinese delegations have also said they would not travel to Norway.

Store said he had also called for the release of Liu and the easing of restrictions on his wife, Liu Xia.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which stresses its independence from the government, awarded the peace prize to Liu for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”.

The Chinese government reacted angrily, saying Liu – currently serving an 11-year sentence for inciting subversion of the state – was “a criminal” and that 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.