Swedish Journalist: “The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs should let the Chinese consular officials pick up their luggage and go back to Beijing immediately!”

On September the 25th 2003, Jan Åberg, a journalist from the newspaper “Trollhättan”, published an article entitled "Business as usual" after learning about the Gothenburg Chinese consulate attempts to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from broadcasting a radio programme in Sweden. Åberg criticised the Chinese consulate’s blatant disregard for Swedish law and human rights, as well as the timidity of the Gothenburg city government. Here is the report:

Recently, many experts have made comments in the Swedish media about a government suggestion that people should vote as to whether Sweden joins the European Union and made clear the consequence if we refuse to join. Regrettably, we have accommodated ourselves to this kind of intervention, but after all the choice is ours and is not Asia’s business. These days, the East India Group in Gothenburg has highlighted Asian interference. When the new cargo vessel was launched this summer, it seemed to moisten everyone’s eyes. In sight of three hundred Chinese guests, the mayor launched the vessel with high-ranking officials from the Chinese embassy on board.

Not all residents in Gothenburg were excited. There are many Swedish Falun Gong practitioners in Gothenburg. During these past few years, they have incessantly appealed against the persecution of those whose thoughts and viewpoints are different from the Chinese government. Compared with the persecution of Chinese Falun Gong practitioners, Saddam Hussein's vicious deeds in Iraq amount to nothing. Chinese representatives in Gothenburg create more and more trouble. Göran Persson guaranteed "Chinese stability". Ess Ericsson and the Swedish Enterprise Industrial Minister jointly indicated that commerce has nothing to do with politics. However, is it irrelevant to Chinese stability that innumerable Falun Gong practitioners have been detained and tortured by the Chinese government? Chinese consulates have interfered in Swedish relations with China, so how can they possibly ignore the truth of the persecution that is being revealed in Gothenburg?

As a result, the Chinese consulate started to react by visiting certain people in charge of the local radio stations in Gothenburg, and then visiting the Physical Sports and Association Management Ministry in the city government. One department of this ministry has offered a local radio stations funds to try and persuade them to give up broadcasting the Falun Gong radio programme, but the offer was rejected. Four Swedish television stations asked the consulate-general Yuan Wenjin why the Chinese consulate has interfered with Falun Gong radio programmes. Yuan Wenjin admitted this attempt in public saying, "I consider human right and freedom of speech limited. Falun Gong practitioners spread lies about China."

Falun Gong activities in Gothenburg have already influenced the Chinese consulates. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sweden expressed their discontent to the Chinese consulate this time, which is a first. Is this enough? No, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs ought to let the Chinese consulates realise that they are unpopular. Sweden is a small country indeed and China is a big one. Just because we are small, we should actively boycott interventions from China on the basis of human rights and freedom. The Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs should let the Chinese consular officials pick up their luggage and go back to Beijing immediately.

Gothenburg city must also make a statement of its position. The city government consultant Kommunalrådet Göran Johansson was asked what he thought about this. His reply was, "In Gothenburg, we are unable to influence Swedish diplomatic policy", yet what about city policy? Under pressure from four Swedish television stations, he reluctantly commented, "No precedent can be referred to by us to cope with this."

Nevertheless, we still do not understand Göran Johansson's thoughts. He did not mention anything to local radio stations.

Translated from Chinese at http://www.yuanming.net/articles/200309/24683.html

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