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Norway and China hold secret Oslo talks: NRK

China has begun secret negotiations with Norway over ending the diplomatic freeze triggered by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to a leading Chinese dissident four years ago, NRK has reported.

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
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. 
 

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CHINA

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.

READ ALSO: Norway oil fund loses 18 billion euros in first half of 2020

 

 

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