Colombia will not attend the Noble Peace Price ceremony in Norway which honors jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
China has written to foreign diplomats in Oslo urging them to boycott the ceremony and warned of “consequences” if they did not do so. According to several media, Colombia and 18 other countries decided not to attend this year’s ceremony.
Colombian radio station W Radio said Colombia decided not to attend the ceremony for “commercial reasons.”
Colombia is in the process of strengthening trade ties with China.
Aside Colombia and China, other countries not attending the ceremony are Russia, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco.
Xiaobo is serving an 11-year jail term for his calls to boost human rights and democracy in China. According to China’s Foreign Ministry, Xiaobo’s supporters were fundamentally opposed to China’s development and wanted to interfere in the country’s politics and legal system.