MDG demands that Norway breaches trade agreement – and asks Huitfeldt to stay home from the Winter Olympics – VG
Just a couple of weeks before the Beijing Olympics in China, the Green Party asks Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor Party) to stay home and demand that Norway break the free trade agreement negotiations with China.
– Norway is one of the few countries in the world that will now bond more closely to the dictatorship through a free trade agreement, at the same time as criticism of China’s increasing brutality and human rights violations increases in the rest of the world, it happens without real debate in the Storting, says MDG’s business policy spokesman. , Rasmus Hansson, to VG.
Therefore, the party posts one interpellation in the Storting.
– We specifically ask that Norway terminates the so-called normalization agreement and interrupts the free trade negotiations until the human rights situation develops in the right direction in China.
The MDGs are largely a lone party political force with the harsh language used by the Chinese giant.
Hansson says it is high time that the debate on Norway’s relations with China is lifted into the Storting.
– Developments in China are going in a very disturbing direction, and countries that try to bring this up with China are faced with strong sanctions, now most recently Lithuania. Norway must stand with the EU and Lithuania and state clearly that we do not accept this type of instrument.
He asks Norway to follow the EU.
– The EU has put its planned investment agreement with China on. The government of Støre and Vedum is going in the opposite direction and seeking a free trade agreement with the Chinese Communist Party.
He asks for tougher Norwegian politics.
– Norway has signed an agreement that limits our ability to criticize China, and continues to work on a comprehensive free trade agreement that will also strengthen the Chinese regime.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says in a comment that Norway can express concern about the human rights situation in China and do so today.
– There is no binding on Norwegian China policy as a result of the political normalization in 2016, says State Secretary Eivind Vad Petersson (Labor).
– Star example
MDG-Hansson refers to the so-called The normalization agreement from 2016.
– It is a star example of how a democratic country demands an increasingly powerful dictatorship in front of its own interests. The agreement undermines Norwegian democracy and the right to self-government, and must be terminated.
– Applying for a free trade agreement provides an opportunity to influence China?
– There is a limit to what kind of regimes we should make our economy and freedom of expression dependent on. The MDGs are stronger supporters of international cooperation than most in the Storting, but we are also supporters of Norway now turning its back and speaking out. Not only to small regimes we think are problematic, but also to large ones.
– That’s why Huitfeldt should stay home
– It is a free trade agreement we have worked for many years to get in place, which will be able to help Norwegian companies?
– Norwegian companies are doing quite well. A free trade agreement with China is not a being or not being for Norwegian companies, even though China is a huge brand. But that is exactly the point, he says:
– That China uses its power to mix trade cooperation with pushing other countries’ policies and views on human rights. Norway must not accept that.
– We are traveling these days with a large squad to the Winter Olympics in China. What do you think about it?
– We do not boycott people, but we can boycott dictators. Practitioners should travel. Relations between peoples and nations are good and important, but they, and Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt, who will also do this, must be aware that in the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Norway is not a small mini-putt nation far away.
With our gold catch, we risk becoming the foremost ambassador for China’s president and dictator, Xi Jinping’s great new Olympic success.
Hansson puts pressure on the Foreign Minister:
– That’s why Anniken Huitfeldt should stay at home.
UD: Huitfeldt goes to Beijing
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) rejects that it is relevant for Huitfeldt not to travel to the Beijing Olympics.
– There is a long tradition for the Norwegian government to be present at the Olympic and Paralympic Games as guests of the Norwegian Sports Confederation, regardless of where the games are arranged. Subject to the pandemic restrictions, the government plans to be present both during the Olympics and the Paralympic Games in Beijing, says State Secretary Eivind Vad Petersson (Labor).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that a possible trade agreement does not limit Norway from addressing Norwegian societal values and human rights issues with China.
“We have common interests with China in areas such as trade, climate and the environment, at the same time as we express our concern about the human rights situation in China – both in the Storting, in the media, vis-à-vis the Chinese authorities and in various UN bodies,” says Petersson.
– Speaks with two tongues
The Chinese president has given a speech at the digital World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, where Xi said that China already has over a billion vaccine doses to 120 countries worldwide, and that another 1 billion doses will soon be sent on the way. 600 million of these will be sent to African countries, while 150 million doses will go to countries in Southeast Asia.
In comparison, the international vaccine collaboration Covax has so far delivered 1 billion vaccine doses to developing countries, writes NTB.
“We must get rid of the mentality of the Cold War and seek peaceful coexistence that everyone has everything to gain from,” Xi said in the speech.
Hansson says it’s bra, sir:
– When Xi says good things, we will listen. China also does a lot of good for its own population and interesting things worldwide that also challenge Norway in a good way. Men Xi speak with tongues. We must also hear what the other tongue says and dare to counter what we hear.