China has warned Norway against giving a Nobel Peace Prize to Hong Kong protesters, who have been hailed across the world for standing up to the authoritarian and dictatorial Chinese regime which curtailed the Island's autonomy. The threat was issued by China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi
at a joint press conference held at Oslo along with his Norwegian counterpart, Ine Eriksen Soreide.
In response to a question about Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrations, Wang Yi said "We don't want to see anyone politicising the Nobel Peace Prize. China will firmly reject any attempt by anyone to use the Nobel Peace Prize to interfere in China's internal affairs, as it had done in the past."
China which has been on the receiving end ever since the origin of the Corona Virus was traced to Wuhan and it was accused of not doing enough to alert the world, has been on a diplomatic overdrive to mend its ties. However, given its authoritarian attitude, China has either tried to force countries to toe its line with financial instruments or through sanctions.
In 2010, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Chinese democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo. Though the Norwegian government doesn't have any say in who is awarded the prize, China responded by suspending ties and freezing free-trade talks. Ever since then, the relations between Oslo and Beijing have been turbulent. The recent business tensions with many countries in Europe has added to China's offensive attitude.
Many democratic countries around the world including many in Europe have criticised China for suppressing the Hong Kong protesters using force and also for curtailing democracy in the Island. It's controversial national security law for Hong Kong was enacted in June, raising concerns about autonomy and basic freedoms of its citizens.
Hong Kong's historic 2019 protest movement was sparked by opposition to a since-scrapped bill allowing extraditions to mainland China, before growing into a broader call for more democracy.