China calls dissident Nobel prize an "obscenity"

By Ben Blanchard

(Reuters) – China condemned as obscene the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a jailed dissident on Friday, saying that it went against the aims of the award and would harm the country’s relations with Norway.

Pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize for decades of non-violent struggle for human rights, an award that Beijing had anticipated and bitterly criticized.

“The awarding of the peace prize by the committee to this person completely contradicts its aims and is an obscenity against the peace prize,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement on the ministry’s website (www.mfa.gov.cn).

“Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to jail because he violated Chinese law,” Ma said. “His actions are diametrically opposed to the aims of the Nobel prize.

“Nobel’s behest was that the Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to somebody who promoted peace between peoples, promoted international friendship and disarmament.”

Beijing residents reported that the signal was temporarily cut on CNN and BBC broadcasts when the peace prize story was mentioned. In China, foreign news channels are restricted to upmarket hotels and apartment complexes.

The award would damage Sino-Norway ties, said Ma, without elaborating

To read more, visit: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6971XY20101008

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