Once Again Denmark Defies China

The Danish ambassador will be taking part in the Nobel Peace ceremony despite Chinese admonitions.

China is reported to have written to EU embassies in Oslo, urging them not to take part in the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony for the Chinese dissident Liu Xiabo on Dec. 10, but Denmark’s ambassador says he will be attending.

“By tradition, the entire diplomatic corps is invited and I will be taking part on Dec. 10,” says ambassador Hugo Østergaard-Andersen. Although declining to say whether Denmark has received the letter he says: “I can only say that we are aware of China’s views”.

China’s leading foreign ministry negotiator at the G-20 meeting to be held in South Korea next week has also called on EU countries to stay away saying that support for Liu Xiabo is an “affront to China’s legal system”.

LIU  Xiabo, the imprisoned Chinese dissident. China has called on EU ambassadors to stay away from the award ceremony on Dec. 10.
The Danish decision to send Ambassador Østergaard-Andersen to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony will be the second time in two years that Denmark has defied Chinese admonitions, and follows a diplomatic squabble in May 2009 when Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen hosted the Dalai Lama at the official government residence.

That episode led to a diplomatic freeze in political visits between the two countries that only thawed earlier this year when Løkke Rasmussen met Premier Wen Jiabao during a visit to Beijing.

During her recent visit to Shanghai for the closing ceremony of the Shanghai Expo, Foreign Minister Lene Espersen met China’s Foreign Minster Yang Jiechi during which the two also discussed the thorny issue of the Nobel peace Prize.

“I noted that we do not agree. I explained that this is something we have a clear view on and he said China did not share that view,” Espersen told Ritzau at the time.

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