China: Liu’s Nobel like backing crime

2010-10-14 14:36
Beijing - China on Thursday denounced the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to dissident Liu Xiaobo as tantamount to "encouraging crime", as state media said the prize was part of a Western "ideological war" against Beijing.

The comments came as China faced fresh pressure, with Norway criticising Chinese retaliatory steps over the award and Japan's prime minister saying the jailed peace laureate should be freed.

"Liu Xiaobo is a convicted criminal. Awarding the Nobel Prize to him is equivalent to encouraging crime," foreign ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu told reporters.

Liu, 54, was sentenced last December to 11 years in jail for subversion. He was awarded the peace prize on Friday by Oslo's Nobel Committee for his advocacy of political reform and human rights in one-party China.

The US and European Union have called for his release and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan weighed in on Thursday, risking Beijing's ire just as Japan and China seek to put a damaging diplomatic spat behind them.

"From the viewpoint that universal human rights should be protected across national borders, it is desirable" that Liu be released, Kan told the Japanese parliament.

House arrest

China broke off contacts with Tokyo last month after Japan detained a Chinese fishing boat captain whose vessel collided with Japanese coastguard ships in waters claimed by both sides in the East China Sea.

However, the two close trading partners have moved recently to patch up the row.

Kan said he would be "watching whether he (Liu Xiaobo) will be able to attend the Nobel Prize award ceremony or whether his wife or family members will attend".

Liu's wife, Liu Xia, has been largely confined to her Beijing home since Friday in what she has denounced as "illegal house arrest." Washington and Brussels have both appealed to China to let her move freely again.

Beijing has directed its fury at Oslo by cancelling ministerial meetings and a Norwegian musical scheduled to be staged in the country.

Oslo on Wednesday criticised the cancellations and said Norway hoped to maintain goods’ relations with China.

"If this decision is the consequence of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize, we consider this an inappropriate reaction," Norwegian foreign ministry spokesperson Ragnhild Imerslund told AFP.

The state-run English-language Global Times newspaper said on Thursday Liu's award was part of a Western "ideological war" against China.

"They even hope that China will one day collapse under the West's ideological crusade," said the editorial, intended for foreign audiences.

Wife’s phone cut off

Chinese-language state media have remained muted on the subject amid an information blackout on the news in China.

Liu Xiaobo was sentenced in December to 11 years in jail on subversion charges in what was widely seen as retaliation for authoring an appeal for political reform and human rights in 2008.

China's Communist Party has an iron grip on political power and its human rights record is frequently criticised by foreign governments and activists at home.

Dissidents and activist lawyers have been under close surveillance since the award was announced, and ahead of an annual Communist Party meeting opening Friday.

Liu Xia, meanwhile, has had her telephones cut off by authorities but has issued periodic statements on Twitter.

Twitter is blocked in China by the nation's censors, but accessible via proxy servers.

"I strongly protest against the government for my illegal house arrest," Liu Xia said in a tweet on Wednesday, calling her situation "very hard to take".

Her lawyers told AFP on Thursday that she remained unreachable by phone.

Read more on:    liu xiaobo  |  china  |  nobel peace prize

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


LOL treadmill fail!

Watch this hilarious clip! We think this man should rather be running outside this summer!


I love summer.24

Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos
7 drinks you need to make this party season

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go! - shop online today

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

15% off LEGO

Save 15% when you buy 2 or more Lego toys. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.