Beijing blasts Nobel Peace Prize meddling

08:37, October 09, 2010      

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China strongly disagrees with a Norway committee's decision to award this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, a criminal convicted of agitation aimed at subverting China's government, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday.

Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu "desecrated the prize" and may harm China-Norway ties, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said. Ma's remarks were issued in a press release after he was asked to comment on the award, announced earlier Friday in Oslo, Norway.

China, which had warned against giving the prize to Liu, summoned Norway's ambassador to protest, according to a Reuter report.

Awarding the peace prize to Liu "runs completely counter to the principle of the prize and is also a blasphemy to the peace prize," the spokesman said.

Ma said that Liu was a criminal sentenced by the Chinese judicial authorities for violating Chinese law. Liu was sentenced to 11 years in jail on December 25 by a local court in Beijing.

The Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to people who contribute to national harmony, country-to-country friendship, to advancing disarmament, and for convening and promoting peace, Ma said. He said that this was the wish of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prizes.

"What Liu has done is contrary to the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize," Ma said. The Nobel committee's decision to award the peace prize to such a person ran contrary to and desecrated the prize, he said.

China and Norway have enjoyed a sound development of bilateral ties in recent years. Ma said this was conducive to the fundamental interests of the two nations.

Liu is the second Chinese national to win the peace award, following the Dalai Lama. Chinese nominated for the prize have included Wei Jingsheng, Hu Jia and Rebiya Kadeer. They share a common characteristics of being opposed to the current Chinese political system, said a report by the Global Times, which is affiliated to The People's Daily.

Liu Xiaobo and Hu Jia are currently in prison, and the Dalai Lama and Rebiya Kadeer are in exile.
He Xing, a lecturer at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, told the Global Times that what Liu advocated is something that Chinese people do not care about too much and think it makes no difference whether they have it or not.

"I will ask my students at tomorrow's lecture to see how many of them know about Liu or know what he has written. I think these foreign panels (that award the Peace Prizes) are too opinionated," he said.

Shi Yinhong, a professor with the School of International Studies at Beijing's Renmin University of China, told the Global Times Friday, "The Nobel committee claims to be independent, but its decision to award the peace prize to Liu strategically caters to anti-China elements."

"The decision is aimed at humiliating China. Such a decision will not only draw the ire of the Chinese public, but also damage the reputation of the Peace Prize," he told the Global Times.

By People's Daily Online


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