The white lotus
 spiritual enlightenment
and purity.

It grows in muddy waters
and rises above the surface
to unfold its  beautiful flowers
against the light.


Debate articles

Open letter to the President of China Hu Jintao
(visiting Denmark 14 – 16 June 2012)

Honorable President Hu,

As a Danish citizen, I would like to welcome you to Denmark.

Denmark has freedom of expression and tradition to let everybody get a chance to speak, even those who do not share our points of view.

Basic view of human nature

Denmark has had a long tradition of freedom, democracy and human rights.

Our politicians have over the years argued for trade and dialogue as the way to promote human rights in China.

The influence has unfortunately been the other way around. Our politicians have to ensure trade relations with China compromised our fundamental values. Especially in the declaration from 2009 in which we as something quite unprecedented in international law, declared that we will oppose to the independence of Tibet.

We have begun to feel the consequences of our politicians giving priority to economy in preference to common decency. We see the early signs towards a value-based view of human nature, in which the focus is on whether the individual has a value to society or not.

This shows obviously that freedom is not a static condition that can be won once and for all, but something you must constantly have focus on and defend, and that these rights must necessarily be based on the individual as stated in the UN 's Declaration of Human Rights.

United Nations

In Denmark we have tradition to assemble in associations, and it is widely accepted that one cannot be a member of an association whose basic principles one do not live in accordance with.

For the average Dane, therefore, it seems strange how China has been able to ratify UN Human Rights Conventions, etc., while maintaining its occupation of Tibet, continuing the crackdown on the Tibetan population and not even securing its own people basic human rights.


The Tibetan people are closely related to the Greenlandic people.

We are many who look with concern at the prospect that Chinese firms are licensed to extract raw materials from the Greenland underground. We fear that this will happen without adequate environmental considerations as in Tibet.

Greenland now has autonomy, but has previously been a Danish colony.

China could benefit from our experience with the reform process when introducing autonomy in Tibet.

The future

We have a common interest in ensuring that everybody gets the opportunity to live a decent life in peace and freedom.

China can make a significant contribution just by acting up to ratified international agreements on human rights, etc.

Published 12 June 2012


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