China has recently canceled several ministerial-level talks with the UK and denied a visa to former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik. Chinese authorities did not give a specific explanation but it is thought that the decisions are retaliatory actions against UK Prime Minister David Cameron's meeting with the Dalai Lama last month and the Norway Nobel Committee awarding Liu Xiaobo the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.
The speculation is probably correct. In both cases China's core interests have been offended. Proper countermeasures are necessary for a big country. If China takes no action, it would be tantamount to tolerating a vicious provocation. This indifference would be despised at home and in the world.
The West's political pressure over China has followed certain routines. Hosting the Dalai Lama and honoring Chinese dissidents are the regular choices. As such incidents happen more frequently, their impact on Chinese society has been decreasing.
Granted, the provocations have prompted China to reflect, generating some positive results. But China has to resist the West's attempt to interfere in its domestic political affairs. It is a requirement of our political sovereignty, and the necessary feedback to show our determination to design the nation's future path.
Since its reform, China has accepted some political concepts of the West, but that is not the same as unconditionally following orders from the West. Studying the West has to take place under the condition of resisting its pressure, otherwise, it is to accept being conquered by the West.
The UK and Norway are developed countries with relatively small populations. China is aware of their political advantages. However, governing a country of 1.3 billion people is beyond their imagination. It is naïve and arrogant to try and teach China what to do.
They must pay the due price for their arrogance. This is also how China can build its authority in the international arena. China doesn't need to make a big fuss because of the Dalai or a dissident, but it has many options to make the UK and Norway regret their decision.
China-UK cooperation will have to be slowed down. Free trade agreement talks between China and Norway have also been upset. The ensuing loss is a small one for China.
It's not easy to have Chinese society's sympathy on China's sovereignty issues. The West has presented various honors to Chinese dissidents, and Chinese people won't be fooled into believing it is a simple coincidence.