Thursday, December 9, 2010



After having waged a high-pressure campaign to enforce a boycott of the Oslo function on December 10 to honour in absentia Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese human rights activist who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee this year, Beijing is coming to terms with the reality that its campaign has not had the expected success and that its bullying tactics to enforce a boycott has failed except in Asia. Of the 65 countries with a diplomatic presence in Oslo, only 19 have so far agreed to join the boycott. The remaining 46 have reportedly informed the Nobel Committee that they will be attending the function.

2. Embarrassed by this, Beijing has been projecting its campaign as a success. It has claimed that over 100 countries have agreed to boycott the function. In reaching this number, it has apparently included countries with no diplomatic presence in Oslo, who have not been invited and who would not have attended anyhow.

3. Having held out threats of retaliation against countries which attend the function, the Chinese are now showing signs of lowering the rhetoric. In an article carried on December 10, the party-controlled "Global Times" has said: "Shi Yinhong, a researcher at the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, said, "The 19 countries are making independent decisions on their own. It has done harm to the bilateral relations between China and Norway. But China's expressing of discontent with Norway on this specific issue does not represent the long-term direction that China will adopt toward Norway," Shi said."

4 The Chinese were till now warning of an adverse impact on China's relations with countries which attend the function. They are now practically saying: "Not necessarily". Despite the high-profile US interest in the function, the Chinese are going ahead with their plans to receive Mr.Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, in Beijing next month, thus terminating their suspension of military-military relations with the US in protest against the intended US sale of another consignment of military equipment to Taiwan.( 10-12-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )


Abhijeet Nagre said...

Decisions of nobel-committe have always been politically motivated.
1. They gave Obama a peace prize; despite his continuation of US Imperialist policies,his support of Israel's War against Gaza.
Committe has done same while giving peace prize to Ex-presidentsof US.
2. In cold war era Nobel committe used to be more intent on giving prizes to Russian Scientist. Russian government had banned scientist from receiving these awards.
Thus most of the winners of Nobel prize eventually used to leave Russia.
3. Noam Chomsky, the person who is political activist from 1966's. Has worked extensively on bringing US Imperialist policies under light. He has great track record in liguastic.
He should have got multiple Nobel prizes in both these areas. But it has not happened yet.


I respect your knowledge sir.But I have never heard you talking about US's imperialist policies.

Paresh said...

It is like George Bush saying that we have 180-200 allies in the 'Coalition of the Willing' to fight in Iraq. We all know the disaster that happened next.

Milo Minderbinder said...

Its a good sign that India has finally decided to stand up and face the bullying by China. China expects India to roll over and accept any and every arbitrary decision enforced upon it by China( stapled visas,Claim to Gilgit-Baltistan,Demchok, DBO,Fukche regions) and this decision to attend the Nobel Prize ceremony is a sign of Indian political class developing a spine.
China needs to accept the fact that not all countires will comply with its demands and tantrums indefinitely.If the Chinese premier decides to cancel his visit to India,Amen!
We anyway wont have gained anything useful from this visit other than a hollow promise to "Look into the matter".
Even the bonhomie at COP15 and COP16 are just for show and has more to do with China`s lack of will to act against increasing emmissions.

Esoteric said...

China is a conundrum.It manages to manufacture 15 million cars a month but cannot control pollution.

It provides economic prosperity for large sections of Chinese population but cannot grant them civil liberties such as freedom of movement and speech.

This lack of tolerance internally also manifests itself externally when Nobels are awarded to people Chinese Govt despises.