China has rebuked Norway after authorities expelled a Chinese scholar for fear the student’s expertise could be used for military purposes.
Ma Qiang, a political counsellor at the Chinese embassy in Oslo, raised the issue with the Norwegian foreign ministry on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
China denounced Norway for “violating the rights” of the student in the lastest friction that could further strain ties after the Nobel committee awarded the 2010 Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
Norwegian police had ordered the Chinese doctorate student working at the University of Agder to leave Norway before Jan. 23, state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
Ma said the action by Norwegian police against the student, who had been working on a wind-power project at the university for two years, was “totally baseless and unreasonable”.
Xinhua cited Norwegian broadcasting company NRK as saying Norwegian authorities were concerned the student’s expertise could be used “for military purposes in other countries”.
“It is an infringement of the scholar’s rights, which has a damaging effect on Norway’s reputation and image in the international academic world and a negative impact on bilateral ties between China and Norway,” Ma was quoted as saying.
Norway’s diplomatic relations with China have been frozen since 2010 when Liu, who is serving an 11-year jail sentence in China on subversion charges, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
China cancelled meetings with Norwegian officials and denied visas to visiting dignitaries, even though Norway’s government has said it has no influence over the Nobel committee.
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