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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

The Copenhagen Kowtow

December 19, 2009

Denmark sells out Taiwan and Tibet to advance the green agenda.

The Weekly Standard, by Kelley Currie
12/18/2009 12:00:00 AM

While the U.S.-China tiff at the UN Climate Change Conference in
Copenhagen was grabbing headlines last week, the conference hosts
quietly issued a diplomatic note stating that Denmark "attaches great
importance to the view of the Chinese government" on Tibet-related
issues, "takes seriously the Chinese opposition" to government meetings
with the Dalai Lama, and "will handle such issues prudently." The note
also reaffirmed Chinese sovereignty over Tibet and Taiwan in language
that sounded as if the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote it. It
was quite a diplomatic coup for the Chinese regime, which had spent the
better part of the week sabotaging the Copenhagen talks.

The Danes had previously been one of the strongest European supporters
of Tibetan and Chinese human rights. In 1997, the Chinese government
memorably attacked Denmark for its co-sponsorship of a resolution on
China at the then-UN Human Rights Commission, warning that the
resolution would "become a rock that smashes on the Danish government's
head." But economic and political pressure has been building on
successive Danish governments to take a more "pragmatic" approach.
Following Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen's May 2009 meeting
with the Dalai Lama, the Chinese reportedly froze relations with the
Danes, including on climate negotiations.

Denmark's foreign policy and political elite have portrayed this latest
move as an entirely sensible response to China's growing power, and a
necessary step to keep the "more important" climate agreement on track.
In abandoning their long record of strong support for Tibet, the Danes
are following the example of nearly every other Western democracy. In an
effort to soothe Chinese anger following their meetings with the Dalai
Lama, French, German and Canadian leaders have issued similar statements
or otherwise downplayed human rights concerns. The leaders of Australia
and New Zealand have followed President Obama's example in refusing to
meet with the Dalai Lama during his recent visits to their countries,
and other nations appear to be doing the same. And the list goes on,
with China achieving victory after victory by doing little more than
pitching diplomatic hissy fits.

But as one of the last holdouts against China's blackmail diplomacy,
Denmark's collapse should be cause for concern and soul-searching about
the continued viability of the international human rights system. This
is particularly true given China's consistent willingness to hold
hostage its cooperation on a range of global public goods and important
regional and bilateral issues in order to achieve a virtual blackout of
international criticism of its human rights record. The Chinese have
long claimed that the West cynically uses human rights as a political
tool to contain China's rise. We prove them right every time a Western
country abandons its principles by treating human rights issues as
bargaining chips to be given away for marginal improvements to a global
climate agreement, a heavily qualified promise of support on Iranian
nuclear issues, the illusion of access to the Chinese market, or even
just an improvement in the "atmospherics" of the relationship.
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