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Chinese pressure over Noble Prize Ceremony means NZ must go

Chinese pressure over Noble Prize Ceremony means NZ must go

New Zealand should defy China and attend tomorrow’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, Green Party MP Keith Locke said today

Mr Locke was told in answer to a written parliamentary question that the New Zealand Government had received an official request from the Chinese Government not to attend the award ceremony. Several other governments have received such requests.

“New Zealand should stand beside this brave Nobel Peace Prize winner in his efforts to bring greater democracy to China,” said Mr Locke, the Green Party’s foreign affairs spokesperson.

“Our presence would both honour Mr Liu and show the Chinese Government that putting pressure on democratic countries such as New Zealand is counterproductive.

“It is not too late for a diplomat in our Stockholm Embassy to hop on a train to Oslo to attend the ceremony.

“New Zealand’s diplomatic presence in Scandinavia is new, which has limited our attendance at Nobel ceremonies in previous years,” said Mr Locke.

“But that shouldn’t be used as an excuse for our Government to avoid this year’s Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony.

“We must defy China’s efforts to stop the world supporting the Noble Peace Prize ceremony.”

ENDS

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