Student’s expulsion ‘groundless’
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.