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Nobel prize sparks Norway-China row, petitions for reform in Beijing

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“The Norwegian Nobel Committee, by giving the Peace Prize to a convicted person in China, shows no respect for the judicial system of China,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesma Ma Zhaoxu said this week, warning of damaged China-Norway relations.

IN PICTURES: Liu Xiaobo: Nobel Peace Prize recipient

Norway has tried to ease the situation by highlighting that the Norwegian Nobel Committee is independent of the Norwegian government. “We cannot [accept] that an independent committee’s decision shall lead to bilateral relations between Norway and China being affected,” Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said in a meeting today with China's ambassador.

But despite Norway's effort to make such distinctions, China has retaliated with a string of rebuffs.

“It really reflects the Chinese government’s own sense that authorities should be able to tell anybody, including independent bodies, what to do,” Ms. Hom told The Christian Science Monitor.

A delegation from China’s high court, scheduled to meet its Norwegian counterpart this week, canceled because of “other urgent obligations” and a Chinese military delegation called off its meeting in Oslo with Norway’s justice ministry at the last minute, according to Ragnhild Imerslund, assistant director general of Norway's foreign ministry.

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