While millions have taken to the streets of Hong Kong, a Norwegian politician -Guri Melby, a member of Norway’s parliament for the liberal party — has nominated the “people of Hong Kong” for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, a risky move that is expected to draw ire from China’s political hierarchy.
In an interview published by newspaper Aftenposten, Melby explained that “what they do has an impact far beyond Hong Kong, both in the region and in the rest of the world.”
According to the Norwegian parliament member, one reason why he nominated Hong Kong citizens for the most coveted award is because they have risked “their lives and security every day to stand up for freedom of speech and basic democracy.”
Melby’s initiative is likely to displease China, which was already angered by the Nobel Committee’s 2010 decision to give the award to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who has since died.
Although the Nobel Committee is independent from the government in Norway, Beijing froze its relations with the Scandinavian country, suspended negotiations for a free trade agreement and blocked imports of Norwegian salmon.
Relations between the countries did not normalise until December 2016, after Oslo committed to not “support actions that undermine” Chinese interests.
Nominations are however common and this year the Nobel Committee had to pick from 301 candidates.
Despite the spirited nomination, in the end, the prize went to Ethiopian Prime Miniser Abiy Ahmed for his work in resolving the conflict with bitter foe Eritrea. -/TISG