China blocks semen of hardy Norwegian Red

China has cancelled a project to import semen from the hardy Norwegian Red diary cow, in a move put down to continuing poor diplomatic relations between the two countries.

China blocks semen of hardy Norwegian Red
Norwegian Red - Lucinda Morgan
Geno, the Norwegian farmers co-operative responsible for exporting the prized cow's semen, has run a pilot project in the cold northern region of Inner Mongolia for the past four years, cross-breeding Norwegian Reds with local cattle. 
But the project has now ground to a halt after Geno was refused a vetinary certificate. 
"China is a huge market where 30 million doses of bovine semen are sold every year, Sverre Bjørnstad, the company's CEO, told the Tvedestrandsposten newspaper.
"The project was recommended and approved by the agricultural authorities in China, but we lack the veterinary regulatory approval. We consider that it appears to have something to do with the relationship between Norway and China." 
Norway's Ministry of Agriculture and Food has contacted the Chinese food safety authority for help in the matter, but has so far received no reply. 

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Norway central bank deputy denied security clearance over Chinese wife

The deputy governor of Norway's central bank resigned on Friday after he was denied security clearance because he is married to a Chinese citizen, the bank said.

Norway central bank deputy denied security clearance over Chinese wife
Illustration photo: Drahomír Posteby-Mach on Unsplash

“The Norwegian Civil Security Clearance Authority informs me that the reason that I will not receive a renewed security clearance is that my wife is a Chinese citizen and resides in China, where I support her financially,” Jon Nicolaisen said in a statement from the bank.

“At the same time, they have determined that there are no circumstances regarding me personally that give rise to doubt about my suitability for obtaining a security clearance, but that this does not carry sufficient weight. I have now had to take the consequences of this,” he added.

As deputy governor, Nicolaisen had special responsibility for following up the bank's task of managing Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's biggest valued at more than 1 trillion euros.

According to the bank, Nicolaisen and his wife have been married since 2010.

He was appointed to the job in 2014, and his position was renewed in April 2020.

Diplomatic relations between Norway and China also went into a long deep freeze after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Ties were normalised in 2017.

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