China is doing what it can do to scupper the forthcoming Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in
Oslo. Their Foreign Ministry has now said that countries who decided to attend event would be showing disrespect to China: "We hope those countries that have received the invitation can tell
right from wrong," the ministry’s spokeswoman told journalists.
Many of the world’s human-rights abusers have been only too happy to oblige, including Pakistan, Iran and so on. They want to keep friendly with China and share Beijing’s anti-democratic agenda.
But, oddly enough, Serbia, a would-be EU member, is said to have chosen to boycott the Norwegian event.
Keen to get Chinese financial assistance and help in its Kosovo policy, Belgrade’s thinking is clear. But it also shows how far the Serbian leadership – from President Boris Tadic down – is from
understanding the underlying values which tie NATO and the EU together.
Years ago, when the US tried to pressure would-be EU members to sign agreements that they would never refer any US personnel to the International Criminal Court, European governments made clear
that any such agreements would be anathema to EU membership.
The EU should do the same now: it should make clear it expects would-be EU states that have been invited to the Oslo ceremony to send their ambassadors. And a country with such a chequered history
of human rights like Serbia should be put on special notice.