Stu­dent’s ex­pul­sion ‘ground­less’

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHEN MENG­WEI in Bei­jing chen­meng­wei@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

China crit­i­cized Nor­way for ex­pelling a Chi­nese doc­toral stu­dent un­der the “ground­less” al­le­ga­tion that his ex­per­tise could be used for mil­i­tary pur­poses, For­eign Min­istry spokesman Hong Lei said.

“China has made ver­i­fi­ca­tions and rep­re­sen­ta­tions to the Nor­we­gians re­gard­ing this is­sue,” Hong said at a regular news brief­ing on Wed­nes­day. “China be­lieves that Nor­way’s move is ground­less. It not only vi­o­lates the ba­sic rights of Chi­nese stu­dents, but also un­der­mines the aca­demic im­age of Nor­way.”

Hong ex­pressed hope that Nor­way would take mea­sures to safe­guard the aca­demic free­dom and le­git­i­mate rights and in­ter­ests of the scholar.

“The is­sue should be dealt with prop­erly, so that sim­i­lar things will not hap­pen again,” Hong said.

Po­lice in Nor­way last month or­dered the Chi­nese re­search fel­low, who was pur­su­ing a doc­tor­ate in wind power at the Uni­ver­sity of Agder in Kris­tiansand, and his Euro­pean pro­fes­sor, to leave the coun­try be­fore Jan 23, Xin­hua News Agency re­ported on Tues­day.

The stu­dent had been work­ing on the project for two years.

Tor Aagedal, direc­tor of man­age­ment at the Uni­ver­sity of Agder, told Xin­hua that he was sur­prised with the ex­pul­sion de­ci­sion. “We have ex­am­ined the re­search and looked at the facts in the case. We can­not see that there are grounds for ex­pul­sion,” he said.

Nei­ther the uni­ver­sity nor Nor­way’s em­bassy in China re­sponded im­me­di­ately to re­quests for com­ment. Zhao Junjie, a re­searcher study­ing Euro­pean in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, crit­i­cized the ac­tion.

“The mil­i­tary al­le­ga­tion is merely an ex­cuse and makes no sense,” Zhao said. “The real mat­ter is about the wind power tech­nol­ogy. That is where Nor­way’s core com­pet­i­tive­ness and in­ter­ests lie in the Euro­pean mar­ket.”

Wind power is one of the four key in­dus­tries in Nor­way, in ad­di­tion to tim­ber, fish­ing and oil, he said.

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