By Cal Widdall
In the latest escalation of handbags between Norway and China, a highly placed Norwegian diplomatic source has told a national newspaper that Norway could shut Beijing out of the Arctic Council.
Since Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, International relations between China and Norway have been tense.
Despite Norway’s insistence on the independent nature of the committee, China has snubbed the country in a number of imaginative ways. Until now, Norway had attempted to appease China (employing similarly imaginative means), but with no signs of progress it appears they have changed their strategy, opting instead to give Beijing the cold shoulder.
China’s application for observer status in the Arctic Council is vital to their interests, and not only because the region is a source of abundant resources. It also contains what has the potential to become the world’s most important trade route – a new passage between Europe and China.
No word yet on whether Kong Qingdong considers the Norwegians to be fish-eating running dogs of the Danish.