Dooom! Dooom! Dooom!
“Norway’s Politicians Shun Dalai Lama Seeking Detente With China
Norway’s ruling politicians may refuse to meet with the Dalai Lama when he visits Oslo next month to avoid angering China.
The hesitation is part of an effort to ease tensions with the world’s second-largest economy that have festered since Norway’s Nobel committee awarded jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo the Peace Prize in 2010.
“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,” Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said today to reporters in parliament after a debate on the issue. The government has yet to make a final decision on the matter, he said.
Olemic Thommessen, the speaker of the parliament, said yesterday he will avoid meeting with the 78-year-old religious leader, who is visiting at the invitation of the Nobel Institute to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his own Peace Prize.
“What I want to achieve is to contribute to improving the relationship with China,” the speaker said in a televised interview yesterday with broadcaster NRK. “It’s at a freezing point today. Since 2010, Norway has had no political communication with China.”
China in 2010 broke off high-level contacts with Norway after the Peace Prize was awarded to the dissident. The dispute has also strained trade relations between the two countries, disrupting salmon exports from the Nordic country.
The government has maintained that it has no power over the Nobel Committee’s decisions in awarding the Peace Prize. The prize is handed out by a committee appointed by parliament and headed by former Prime Minister Thorbjoern Jagland.
The religious leader earlier this year met with U.S. President Barack Obama even as the Chinese government lodged a formal diplomatic protest, saying the meeting would undermine U.S.-China relations.
Thommessen, who was previously head of the parliament’s Tibet committee, said not meeting with the Dalai Lama is the “responsible” thing to do.
“It’s a question of bringing us out of a difficult path to improve our possibilities to work precisely for those values that we care about, not least human rights,” he said.”
And the vegetarian bastard is also very unlikely to buy all that salmon.
Dooom! Dooom! Dooom!