Normalization statement can no longer govern Norwegian policy in China

  • Arne Melson

    Vice President, Hong Kong Committee in Norway

In 2017, then Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) was on an official visit to China. The resumption of political and economic cooperation was the main objective. Here she meets Chinese President Xi Jinping.

An “unprecedented development” in China? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should manage on its own.

Debate
This is a discussion post. The opinions expressed in the text are the responsibility of the author.

In 2016, Norway submitted a normalization statement relations with the Chinese authorities. He says Norway “praises China’s unprecedented development”.

Human rights abuses reached proportions unimaginable for many in 2016:

An “unprecedented development”? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should manage on its own.

What Norway Respects

Additionally, the Solberg government wrote that Norway “fully respects China’s territorial sovereignty.”

Chinese military power at sea is growing rapidly in order to crush Taiwan’s free society. It became clear with the encirclement exercise after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. The risk increases that China throttle connections with Taiwan.

In the sea between Vietnam and the Philippines are reefs and islands busy and militarized by China. The exercise of sovereignty violates the law of the sea.

This is what Norway respects, because the declaration is read by the addressee in Beijing.

Military ties between China and Russia are clear: Russian and Chinese bombers made a joint flight in May. In June come new coordinated operations. And now all the weapons practice with Russiain Russia.

Deep reforms are needed

The normalization statement can no longer govern Norwegian policy in China. A new ad might look like this:

The foundation of the standardization statement has been broken.

  1. According to the statement, Norway and China share a wide range of interests. This should be the basis of cooperation. Together we had to seek international coordination and communication.
    The UN and international law are the pillars of Norwegian foreign policy. We are instigator of strengthening The United Nations system. The standardization declaration is, like other Norwegian declarations, subordinate to this one.
  2. In 2020, Sweden’s Gui Minhai became sentenced in China without consular assistance. In 2021 two Canadian citizens were tried in China, and Canadian officials were denied entry.
    This is violation of section 36 in the Vienna Convention. Abuses undermine relations between independent states. China’s practice is unacceptable.
  3. In July, the UN Human Rights Council asked repeal of the Hong Kong Securities Act. The law set aside rights that China guaranteed in a Agreement registered with the UN.
    The council recently concluded that there is credible documentation of torture against Uyghurs. China could be guilty of crimes against humanity.
    The handling of these cases by the UN shows the extent of the failure of the Chinese authorities to fulfill international obligations. They call themselves criticism of the UN a joke. beijing to refuse now to cooperate with the Human Rights Council. Coordination between Norway and China in international affairs has become impossible.
  4. China is condemned for violation of the law of the sea in The Hague. But the illegal occupation of the South China Sea islands continues. Norwegian interests are incompatible with illegitimate territorial claims at sea.
    China seek military control ever closer to Taiwan. The result is increased danger for an armed conflict. Cooperation with Russia is expanding as the war of aggression continues.
    Deep reforms are needed before we can truly work together for world peace.

Adele Matthews

"Passionate pop cultureaholic. Proud bacon trailblazer. Avid analyst. Certified reader."

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