Wang Yi: Don't give the Nobel Prize to Hong Kong demonstrators
The warning was delivered to the Norwegian government. Beijing froze relations with Oslo after the prestigious award was given to dissident Liu Xiaobo. China sees the awarding of the prize to demonstrators as interference in its internal affairs. Wang Yi: There is no evidence that Covid-19 originated in Wuhan.
Oslo (AsiaNews) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday warned against the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. The Beijing envoy issued his "warning" in Oslo, during a joint press conference with his Norwegian counterpart Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The prestigious award is awarded each year in December by a committee appointed by the local Parliament. For its assignment to the well-known Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, which took place in 2010, China froze diplomatic relations with the Scandinavian country until 2016.
Pressed by reporters present on the possibility that the Nobel could go to the democracy activists in the former British colony, Wang said the Chinese government "firmly rejects any attempt to use the Nobel Prize to interfere in China's internal affairs". With a veiled reference to past tensions, he has "invited" the Norwegian government to maintain good relations with China.
Norway is the third stop on Wang's European tour, which has already taken him to Italy and the Netherlands and will end in France and Germany. According to several observers, he is on a mission to the Old Continent to restore the image of the Asian giant.
China is viewed with increasing suspicion by Europeans over its imposition of a draconian security law in Hong Kong, its lack of internal political and economic reforms and the risks associated with the use of Huawei's 5G technology.
Wang also said there is no evidence that the coronavirus pandemic originated in China. He claims that according to scientific investigations, some cases of contagion in other countries occurred earlier than those in Wuhan (Hubei).
Most European chancelleries have criticized Beijing for its handling of the Covid-19 emergency. Analysts observe that the doubts expressed by the high ranking Chinese diplomat in Oslo risk increasing divisions with them and with the European Union.