Norwegian royal couple, foreign minister, and industry minister visited China today. Questions from Norwegian journalists about human rights abuses in China angered Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The Norwegian king and queen, foreign minister, and industry minister, met with China’s President Xi Jinping today in Beijing.
After the meeting, Chinese and Norwegian press received a letter on the talks by Liu Weimin, deputy head of the European Department of Chinese Foreign Affairs.
When the press meeting started, Liu Weimin accused Norwegian journalists and Western media to be obsessed with human rights.
– We must have open minds and not be obsessed with human rights, suggested Weimin.
He reminded of the great economic development in China and claimed they also progressed in human rights field.
– We have also made great progress in the human rights field and we are ready to share relevant information about this,” he said.
However, Amnesty International believes that the human rights situation in China is getting worse.
– In China, we focus most on people’s right to survival, while you in the West focus more on people’s political and civil rights.
Despite the questions from Norwegian press, Norwegian King reportedly did not raise human rights issues in the meeting with the president.
Concerned about Xinjian concentration camps
On the other hand, Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide shared her concerns about the concentration camps in China’s Xinjian region, where Chinese government has reportedly forced as many as one million people into “re-education camps,” where former detainees say they were forced to endure intensive “brain washing” sessions including close study of Communist Party propaganda.
– I have said that we are concerned about the reports. Our emphasis on dealing with basic human rights is important. We have different views on many of these issues, but there is still a willingness to talk about this, “says Søreide according to Dagbladet.