Norwegians look out, China is beginning to show just how distraught it was after the Nobel peace prize was awarded to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo. A meeting between Fisheries Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen and Chinese food control authorities was recently cancelled, in addition to a touring Norwegian musical starring Eurovision 2009 winner Alexander Rybak.
‘According to the explanation … it is because our counterparts had other engagements’ Ragnhild Imerslund of the Norwegian foreign ministry told APP.
“I find it very unfortunate that they are cancelling a show about handicapped people’s rights and possibilities,” he added, saying he was “extremely sad.”
The musical, Thomas Stanghelle’s Some Sunny Night, was set to open on November 1st.
China seems to be finding any way it can to lash out at the decision to hand Liu Xiaobo the distinguished award, placing his wife, Liu Xia, under house arrest only a few days ago.
Liu Xia had hoped to travel to Norway and accept the award on her husband’s behalf, greatly underestimating the drastic measures the government would take to stop her:
“Yesterday, a Norwegian diplomat came to offer support for me and was barred outside the main gates,” she said on her Twitter account…
Liu Xia has been communicating with the outside world via Twitter after her cellphone was cut off earlier in the week.
A replacement phone now has also been cut off, Liu said in a tweet late Tuesday.
“I had the phone for only a day and already it has been cut off by the hoodlums,” she said in the one-line post.
One of her husband’s lawyers said Wednesday they also had no way of reaching her.
“We can’t contact her at the moment. We are just waiting and hopefully we can find a way to get in touch soon,” attorney Shang Baojun told AFP.
Yeesh, looks like cancelled musicals are the least of anyone’s troubles. Still, for those who were looking forward to watching Norweigan singing and dancing, we offer a video of Alexander Rybak in compensation.