Liu Xiaobo

Did China snub Norway in revenge over Liu Xiaobo Nobel Peace Prize?

European country left off list of 45 to be granted a visa-free 72-hour stopover in Beijing from next year

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 December, 2012, 1:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 December, 2012, 1:29pm

China has snubbed Norway in its list of countries that would no longer require a visa for a 72-hour stopover in Beijing because it awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, according to reports.

From next year, citizens from the 45 listed countries who land in Beijing can spend three days in the city without having to apply for a visa.

Chinese authorities said the countries were listed in accordance with the numbers of inbound overnight visitors in Beijing from 2009 to 2011.

But the Financial Times interviewed one government official who said that certain countries were omitted because their citizens or government are “of low quality” or “badly behaved”.

Activist Liu was named a Nobel Peace laureate in 2010. He is four years into an 11-year prison term for subversion for authoring and disseminating a plan for making China democratic, Charter 08. The Nobel committee cited that proposal and his two decades of non-violent struggle for civil rights in awarding him the peace prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible for the Nobel Peace Prize, and is nominated by the Norwegian Parliament although it is independent. 

Relations between China and Norway have been frosty since the award, with cooled diplomatic relations and Beijing restrictions on imported Norwegian salmon. Still, Norweigian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg maintained in November that contacts between Oslo and Beijing had never stopped.