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Berlingske is now able to unveil the exact content of a sound recording that has swirled Denmark and the Faroe Islands into an international debate on China's foreign policy behavior.
The audio recording documents the content of an otherwise confidential conversation between the Faroese Minister of Trade and Environment Helgi Abrahamsen and the long-standing Permanent Secretary Herálvur Joensen on Friday November 15, 2019.
On Monday, December 2, 2019, the recording was subject to an injunction against publication, directed at the Faroese TV station Kringvarp Føroya. The ban came 22 minutes before the TV station would have brought parts of the audio recording.
The reason for the conversation is as follows: The Faroese minister was about to be interviewed by the Faroese TV station about the Chinese telecom giant Huawei and the minister had a microphone attached to his jacket.
Right before the interview, the Permanent Secretary Herálvur Joensen asked the minister to step aside so he could inform him of the government's meeting with Chinese Ambassador Feng Tie, which took place on Monday, November 11, 2019, four days earlier. Attendees at the meeting were the Faroe Islands' political leader, Prime Minister Bárður Nielsen, Minister of Finance Jørgen Niclasen and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jenis av Rana.
According to the Faroese Government, the Minister of Trade and Environment did not know that the microphone from the Faroese TV station was switched on.