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Norway and China hold secret Oslo talks: NRK
A demonstration outside the Chinese embassy in Oslo in 2010 against the detention of Liu Xiaobo. Photo: Greg Rødland Buick/Amnesty International|Flickr

Norway and China hold secret Oslo talks: NRK

Published: 23 Apr 2014 21:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Apr 2014 21:28 GMT+02:00

According to the state television network, China has laid out a list of some fourteen points which Norway must fulfil before normal relations are resumed. 
 
The most controversial of these is reportedly to give an assurance that the Norwegian Nobel Committee will never again award the Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident. 
 
According to NRK, the negotiations began in the final months of the previous centre-left government, and have continued since the present Conservative-led coalition came to power. 
 
The talks have been taking place both in the Chinese embassy in Oslo and in the Norwegian Foreign Ministry. 
 
On Wednesday, China left little doubt as to how it expected Norway's leadership to behave during next month's visit from the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, many of whom see China as an occupying power. 
 
"We resolutely oppose any foreign country providing a platform or convenience for the Dalai Lama's splittist words and acts and oppose him meeting any foreign leader," Qin Gang, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, said on Wedneday. 
 
"If the Dalai Lama is, as he says, a simple religious person, he ought to be properly resting in the temple, and not travelling here and there, getting involved internationally in splitting China and damaging ethnic unity."
 
Norwegian foreign minister Børge Brende told reporters after a parliamentary debate on the issue on Wednesday that it was politically unfeasible to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader. 
 
"We need to focus on our relationship with China and should remember that should the Norwegian government meet the Dalai Lama it could become difficult to normalize our relationship with China.”  
 
Norway has been severely punished for the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision to award the prize to Liu Xiaobo, one of the leader's of the 1989 uprising in Tiananmen Square. 
 
Chinese authorities claim Xiaobo is a "convicted criminal" and argues the award will encourage crime
 
Since 2010 there have been next to no official meetings between Chinese and Norwegian diplomats, talks on a free trade deal  have been put on hold, and Norwegian businesses frequently encounter difficulties operating in China. 
 

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

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