The Chinese embassy in Oslo apparently doesn’t think its diplomatic freeze with Norway is about to melt anytime soon. It has rejected a visiting Chinese scholar’s optimism over improving relations between the two countries, putting the responsibility for “concrete” steps towards any improvement squarely on Norway. Officials at the embassy, or in Beijing, were clearly not pleased by remarks made by Professor Huang Jing of the National University of Singapore. Huang is viewed as an international expert on Asian studies, particularly Chinese politics, and newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported how he’s been trying to help Norway mend relations that were broken when the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010. DN followed up its report with a new story on Friday detailing sharp reaction from the Chinese embassy. In an email that was not signed, the embassy stated that the Peace Prize controversy was a “bilateral issue” between China and Norway, and that there was no need for “irresponsible” commentary or proposals from a third party (Huang). The anonymous author of its email to DN cited a Chinese expression that whoever stirred up the trouble should stop it. The mail also called on Norway to take “concrete” steps so that the bilateral relation could be normalized, without detailing how that might occur.
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