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Prime Minister of Iceland visits China with her wife - Anticipation over reactions

Johanna Sigurdardottir, the Prime minister of Iceland Johanna Sigurdardottir, the Prime minister of Iceland

Johanna Sigurdardottir, the prime minister of Iceland, and her wife, Jonina Leosdottir, will go on a public visit to China from April 15th - 18th. The invitation was brought to Johanna by Wen Jiabao, ex prime minister of China, when he was visiting Iceland in April last year. Johanna Sigurdardottir will meet with the prime minister of Chine, Li Keqiang, and the president of China, Xi Jinping, but they assumed office last March. Johanna will also meet with the ex prime minister, Wen Jiabao.

Jonina LeosdottirDuring the visit Johanna will sign a free trade agreement between Iceland and China. That agreement has been in the making for the past six years, but the prime ministers of Iceland and China agreed in April 2012 to speed up the process so that the negotiations could be finished within a year.

The agreement will be signed by the Chinese and Icelandic ministers of foreign affairs. 

Didi Kirsten Tatlow wrote about this visit on her blog at the New York times website today.

She for example wrote:

"Will China’s state media show Jonina Leosdottir, the wife of the prime minister of Iceland, Johanna Sigurdardottir, during an official visit to China in mid-April? If so, how will she be portrayed, with China’s apparent conversion to First Ladyism on display in the recent high profile given to the wife of President Xi Jinping, the singer Peng Liyuan?"

Gay marriage is not legal in China, and proponents of gay marriage will be watching closely. The Chinese authorities however are believed to tolerate, or ignore, homosexual behaviour in private. But being openly gay is still a taboo in China.

Didi wrote:

"Reflecting that situation, quite some interest in the question of the Icelandic leader’s visit has sprung up in Chinese social media since Sunday, as news spread that she would be accompanied by her wife of 13 years, according to an announcement by the prime minister’s office in Reykjavik on Saturday: “The Prime Minister of Iceland, Johanna Sigurdardottir, and her wife, Jonina Leosdottir, will be on an official visit to China on 15-18 April.” Ms. Sigurdardottir is the world’s first openly gay prime minister."

“And her wife… that sentence sounds really, really good,” wrote a person with the online name Little Poet_Miara on Sina Weibo, China’s biggest microblog site, one of about 125 comments posted by noon Monday. A post announcing the two-woman official state visit, had already been forwarded more than 1,000 times.

 

Sources: 

http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/anticipation-over-china-visit-by-icelands-leader-and-her-wife/

http://eyjan.pressan.is/frettir/2013/04/07/johanna-sigurdardottir-a-leid-i-opinbera-heimsokn-til-kina-undirritar-friverslunarsamning/

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 09:51

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