Aftenposten not welcome in China

Norway’s biggest newspaper is displeased following Chinas’ refusal to allow their journalist entry.

Aftenposten wanted to send staff to China to report on Petroleum and Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe’s visit. The paper applied for a visa to the Chinese Embassy in Oslo two weeks ago, but it has been turned down, writes The 

Norway-China political relations have been chilly following last year’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize to dissident Liu Xiaobo, despite improved business relations in certain sectors, and rumours major bank the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) plans to open some Norwegian branches.

Chief Editor Hilde Haugsgjerd claims China’s decision not issue a visa is unfair. Other Norwegian newspapers such as VG and Dagens Næringsliv were offered one, Aftenposten was not.

“Linked to the fact that relations between China and Norway are normalizing, it should be in China’s own interest for Norwegian readers to be informed about what is happening at a global climate conference. We had an appointment for an interview with Minister Ola Borten Moe in Beijing, but this isn’t possible to implement anymore. Is this in keeping with China’s open line?” she asked, citing freedom of the Press.

Adding that she got no help after calling on Minister Ola Borten to intervene and “explain to the Chinese authorities how important it would have been to treat all the Norwegian media equally”, she claimed, “they’ve washed their hands and said it’s up to the Chinese.”

The Minister will attend a ministerial meeting of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CLSF) global partnership, created in 2003 to promote the capture and storage of CO2.

The newspaper tried to contact the Chinese Embassy but did not manage to get a response.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says they “will investigate the matter further.”


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