by Staff Writers
Copenhagen (AFP) June 14, 2012
Amnesty International on Thursday urged Denmark to take advantage of Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to push Beijing to stop trying to weaken a UN treaty limiting the global arms trade.
"We hope the government will use President Hu Jintao's visit to try to counter Chinese efforts to water down the upcoming Arms Trade Treaty," Amnesty wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
The Chinese president, who arrived in Denmark on Thursday at the head of a large business and trade delegation, is to hold talks with Thorning-Schmidt on Saturday, before leaving for a G20 meeting in Mexico.
Amnesty said it hoped Copenhagen would use the first-ever state visit to Denmark by a Chinese president to "raise attention to the negative role that China has played" ahead of the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations.
The negotiations, which are due to take place in New York July 2-27, are designed to regulate and curb the international trade in conventional weapons.
"China is working to prevent hand weapons and other light weapons from being included in the treaty," Amnesty said, noting that light weapons accounted for more than 500,000 deaths each year due to conflicts or crime.
Hu's visit comes amid controversy over China's cancellation of a visit to Tibet by Denmark's parliamentary foreign policy committee as part of a China fact-finding mission.
China froze relations with Denmark in 2009, after two successive prime ministers welcomed Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the official government residence.
Those relations were mended in late 2010 when parliament made it clear that Denmark had a one-China policy and did not back independence for the Himalayan territory.
Despite their differences, the Chinese visit underlines Beijing's interest in Arctic issues.
As part of its international ambitions, Beijing is seeking permanent observer status on the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation among eight states, including Denmark, which border the region.
On Monday, the Chinese-controlled company London Mining Greenland announced it had sought permission to build a 14-billion-kroner (1.88-billion-euro, $2.4-billion) mining project in southeast Greenland. It would involve some 2,000 Chinese workers.
"A harbour needs to be built and a 103-kilometer road and factory up at the mine. We hope to be able to begin production at the end of 2015," London Mining Greenland spokesman Kaj Kleist said.
Hu's visit is also expected to generate bilateral projects between Denmark and China of up to 18 billion kroner.
"We are working hard to complete agreements for some 18 billion kroner which we can sign when the Chinese president visits Denmark," Danish Trade Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr said earlier this week.
"China is interested in areas where we have expertise -- green issues. They have to deliver clean energy, clean water and a proper health system, and they are beginning that now. Denmark can deliver," Olsen Dyhr said.
It is not yet clear which projects are involved.
But on Wednesday, Denmark's troubled wind energy producer Vestas announced that it had sold its tower factory in Denmark to Chinese producer Titan Wind Energy.
Titan Wind Energy, China's largest global manufacturer of wind towers, is to place its European headquarters in Varde, Denmark.
"The location of our European headquarters in Varde is optimal because we see Denmark as the focal point for the global wind industry," chief executive Yan Junxu said in a statement.
The cost of the acquisition was not disclosed.
China News from SinoDaily.com
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China boycotts religious event over Tibet presence
Seoul (AFP) June 13, 2012
Chinese delegates taking part in a religious event in South Korea abruptly flew home Wednesday in an apparent protest against Tibetan participation, organisers said. The 17 Chinese monks and officials invited to the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) conference ending this Friday returned home a day after lodging a complaint about Tibet's presence, said a spokeswoman for the organising comm ... read more
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