The Embassy of China in Norway is opposing Tibetan documentary filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen’s “lies” about China as he travels around Europe to tell his story and call for a boycott of the Olympics.
Following his visit to Denmark and Sweden, Dhondup Wangchen made it to Norway last week where he spoke to the sports federation, human rights organizations, and politicians. According to Dhondup Wangchen, “China is a regime that not only violates human rights, but they kill people and carry out ethnic cleansing,” and therefore he asked the Norwegian authorities to step in and make a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
Dhondup Wangchen is a refugee from Tibet who in 2008 made the film “Leaving Fear Behind” about what Tibetans thought about the Olympics that same year. The film criticizes China, among other things, for invading Tibet and ruling the area with an iron fist.
The same day that Wangchen sent the video material out of China, he was arrested by the police. According to his own statement, he was kidnapped, tortured, and imprisoned by the Chinese government for the film, but has since managed to escape the country.
Media NRK has presented the Embassy of China in Norway with Dhondup Wangchen’s criticism to which the Embassy stated:
“We strongly oppose any attempt to spread lies about China, damage China’s sovereignty or jeopardize bilateral relations between China and Norway. China respects protects and develops the rights of all minorities in accordance with its laws.
The embassy points out, among other things, that the Uighur and Tibetan populations have both increased by more than 15 percent in the last ten years.
“It is contrary to the Olympic Charter and blasphemy against the Olympic spirit to conduct political manipulation aimed at the Winter Olympics in Beijing based on obvious lies. China looks forward to working with all countries to create a fantastic Olympic event and help build a more peaceful and better world,” the Embassy states.
Dhondup Wangchen believes that Norway has been legitimizing the Chinese regime by helping Chinese athletes prior to the Olympics. Although diplomatic relations between Norway and China were poor between 2010 to 2017, they were normalized again in 2017 when the two nations signed an agreement that, amongst other things, said that Norway would help Chinese athletes. Since then, a large number of Chinese athletes have lived in Norway and been trained by Norwegians but according to Wangchen, “such cooperation is the same as participating in the rules of the game of the Chinese regime”.
The Norwegian government disagrees however and does not believe that sports cooperation has helped to support the Chinese regime.
Speaking on the matter, State Secretary Eivind Vad Petersson said, “We disagree with Dhondup Wangchen that we through sports cooperation contribute to human rights violations in China. Through sports cooperation, we have wanted to contribute to expanding the international ski family to new countries and introducing Chinese sports environments for Norwegian values and principles.”