mandag 7. januar 2019

Diplomacy with Chinese characteristics? Cases of self-censorship in Denmark

When in June 2012 China’s President Hu Jintao made a first-ever official Chinese state visit to Denmark, Chinese diplomats put strong pressure on the Danish government ahead of the planned visit. Their main concern? That Hu would be confronted with any activists or manifestations critical of China. The message was somehow transmitted all the way to the patrolling Danish police forces, who systematically prevented peaceful pro-Tibet demonstrators from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech when Hu’s motorcade toured the streets of Copenhagen.

Last year, an official investigatory commission – the Tibet Commission – stated in a report that the activities by the Danish police amounted to a constitutional breach, which was largely orchestrated by commanding police officers. However, citing the emergence of ‘new evidence’, the Tibet Commission has recently been tasked with re-opening its investigation to further examine, among other things, whether any higher ranking state representatives had authorised the unconstitutional order and instructed the police forces.