Relations between Sweden and China have become increasingly strained during Friday. This was after China's ambassador to Sweden, Gui Congyou, threatened to deport Minister of Culture Amanda Lind from China if she attended the Swedish PEN's distribution of the Tucholsky Prize to the publisher Gui Minhai.
Amanda Lind chose to defy the ambassador's threat and was present at the ceremony on Friday night.
- For me as Minister of Culture and Democracy, it is obvious to be here today and to distribute this award. Freedom of expression prevails in Sweden, which means that Swedish PEN should obviously be able to distribute this prize to whomever they want without influence, she tells SVT News."May stand for them"
On the question of how Friday's event development affects relations with China, the Minister of Culture answers as follows:
- China's statement must of course stand for them. In Sweden, freedom of speech prevails and it is obvious to me to be here and distribute this prize.