We cannot be obsessed with Human Rights

Weimin Human Rights ChinaChinese envoy Liu Weimin was present on behalf of Chinese authorities to sum up the meeting between President Xi Jinping and King Harald in Beijing on Tuesday night. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix


We cannot be obsessed with Human Rights

We must have an open mind instead of being obsessed with human rights, Chinese Prime Minister Liu Weimin says to the assembled press after the Norwegian King’s meeting with President Xi Jinping.


– Western journalists tend to focus on this topic only, Liu said after questions about human rights from the Norwegian press.

He is deputy head of the European Department in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and met on behalf of the Chinese authorities to sum up the meeting between President Xi and King Harald in Beijing on Tuesday night (local time). Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide (Concervatives) and Minister of Industry, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Concervatives), attended the meeting as well.

Broad spectre of topics

Liu stressed that the conversations – which lasted half an hour longer than planned – were about a «Broad spectre of topics».

– So, if we only focus on human rights, it will be misleading. We must also have an open mind instead of being obsessed with human rights, Liu maintains.

He, however, did not answer the question – namely whether human rights were a topic during the meeting.

“Since China and industiralised countries are at different levels of development, we have different focus, for example, we focus more on people’s right to survival and development, while you in the West focus more on civil rights, Liu goes on.

– It can not be a one-size-fits-all model for all countries, especially for a country like China, with 1.4 billion inhabitants.

You can submit an application

TV 2’s reporter brought up the situation in Xinijang, where there have been several disturbing reports lately. He wanted to know if Chinese authorities were willing to let Western journalists in so that they could see with their own eyes what is happening in the predominantly Muslim province.

– If you want to go, you can submit an application to the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. You can apply for it, but I can not promise that the application will be approved, Liu replies. He claims that Xinjiang is a very open region.

According to Amnesty International, up to one million Muslims are detained in “re-education camps” in the region.

China’s President affirmed visit to Norway

President Xi Jinping said thank you to King Harald’s invitation to visit Norway.

The Norwegian King met with the Chinese President in the People’s Great Hall in the Chinese capital Beijing on Tuesday.

– The timimg of the visit will now be discussed between the diplomatic corpses, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman states.

King Harald, Queen Sonja and a large Norwegian delegation containing several Government members are on an official visit to China until October 19th. The visit came after the Chinese invitation that came on February 21st, in connection with the birthday of His Majesty, King Harald V.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today



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