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China bullied Denmark government into silencing anti-Beijing protests: Report

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

China bullied Denmark government into silencing anti-Beijing protests: Report
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Copenhagen:
In a demonstration of China's pressure on foreign governments to silence criticism of Beijing, a Tibet commission appointed by the Denmark government has found how the country's foreign ministry prevented anti-Beijing demonstrations during state visits in 2012 and 2013, according to a media report.


Succumbing to Chinese pressure, Denmark's intelligence and security service pressurised police in Copenhagen to stop all anti-China demonstrations which is a violation of the country's constitution, Radio Free Asia reported citing the commission.

According to the commission, the demonstrators were prohibited within sight of the visiting Chinese delegations and the police hid them behind buses and confiscated Tibetan flags.

It added that China's cancelled visits to Denmark following a 2009 "unofficial" meeting between then Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen and the Dalai Lama led Copenhagen to pursue China-friendly policies.

Although pro-Tibetan independence groups were allowed to demonstrate, they were often placed in areas where visiting Chinese officials would never run into them, the media outlet quoted Anders Hojmark Andersen, chairman of the Tibet Support Committee in Denmark.

"During Hu Jintao's visit in 2012, police even took Tibetan flags away from us in the street but we still succeeded in showing the Tibetan flag to the Chinese president, fortunately," he added.

He further said that the issue is being discussed in the press and is being dealt by many ministries and politicians.

"Several ministers have already commented that they will try to remedy these mistakes," he said.

"I think that now Chinese officials will hesitate before visiting Denmark on a very high level. And I also think they will only send lower-level leaders to Denmark in the future because now they know that they cannot persuade the police to hide us anymore," he added.

Andersen claimed that Sino-Danish relations have soured more recently the Danish government has realized the worsening human rights record in China and the attempt by the incumbent President Xi to assume lifelong leadership, reported Radio Free Asia.

Notably, the development is an example of China's routine pressure on foreign governments to silence criticism of Beijing, the media outlet reported quoting Mandie McKeown, executive director for the UK-based International Tibet Network International.

"We have seen this kind of influence many times before. Most notably back in 1999 when Metropolitan Police broke U.K. law in their handling of demonstrators during the state visit of then-Chinese president Jiang Zemin," she said.

Recalling that in 2016 at least 12 governments issued a joint statement to the UN Human Rights Council saying they had been targeted by Chinese pressure, McKeown added that Beijing bullies other governments into silence.

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