(TibetanReview.net, Aug29’20) – China has not yet come to the point of demanding who the next Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to. But it is certainly clear whom it should not go to and has demanded Aug 27 that Hong Kong democracy activists should not be considered for it or Norway will pay the price. The Nobel Peace Prize, like all other Nobel Prizes, is not a government of Norway award.
On a rare visit to Norway, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said with firmness: “I would only say one thing: In the past, today, and in future, China will firmly reject any attempt by anyone to use the Nobel Peace Prize to interfere in China’s internal affairs”.
He has said this when asked during media interaction how China would react if the Nobel Prize would go to Hong Kong protesters in future.
“China is rock firm on this principle. We don’t want to see anyone politicise the Nobel Peace Prize,” the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted him as saying.
He has demanded that Norway cherish the current bilateral relationship, saying, “If we can continue to respect each other and treat each other as equals … our bilateral relationship can continue to develop in a sustained and sound manner, and the political foundation of the bilateral relationship can be further consolidated.”
Both Norway’s Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide and Wang were reported to have stressed the point that this was the first visit to Norway by a Chinese foreign minister in 15 years – a subtle reference to the previously frozen diplomatic relationship between 2010 and 2016, after the Oslo-based Nobel Peace Prize committee awarded the prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
While being contemptuous of the Noble Peace Prize ever since it was awarded to the Dalai Lama in 1989, Beijing welcomed the prize for literature to Chinese writer Mo Yan in 2012. It said Mo’s “victory reflects the prosperity and progress of Chinese literature, as well as the increasing influence of China”.
Soreide was cited as saying Norway valued China’s interests and concerns and was willing to discuss relevant issues with China in the spirit of mutual respect.
Norway was the third leg of Wang’s ongoing European tour, which took him to Italy and the Netherlands, with France and Germany being his next destinations.