OSLO—Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights” — a prize likely to enrage the Chinese government, which had warned the Nobel committee not to honour him.
Thorbjoern Jagland, the Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman, said Liu Xiaobo was a symbol for the fight for human rights in China and the government should expect that its policies face scrutiny.
“China has become a big power in economic terms as well as political terms, and it is normal that big powers should be under criticism,” Jagland said.
Unlike some in China’s highly fractured and persecuted dissident community, the 54-year-old Liu has been an ardent advocate for peaceful, gradual political change, rather than a violent confrontation with the government.
In China, broadcasts of CNN, which is available in tourist hotels, upmarket foreign hotels and places where foreigners gather, went black during the Nobel announcement and when reports about the award later aired.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that the award should have gone to promoting international friendship and disarmament.
“Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law,” it said. Awarding the peace prize to Liu “runs completely counter to the principle of the prize and is also a blasphemy to the peace prize.”
It said the decision would damage bilateral relations between China and Norway. It did not give any details. …
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