China demands Nobel apology

2010-10-18 12:22

Beijing - China's state-run media on Monday pursued its campaign against the Nobel committee for awarding the Peace Prize to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo, demanding an apology to the nation.

The Global Times - the tabloid sister publication of the People's Daily, the ruling Communist party's mouthpiece - accused the Oslo-based committee of provoking a "serious ideological clash" between Beijing and the West.

Liu, 54, was named the winner of this year's peace prize earlier this month. He was sentenced to 11 years in jail in December after co-authoring Charter 08, a bold petition calling for political reform in one-party China.

His win has incensed China, which has angrily warned that ties with Norway will suffer, cancelling planned meetings and a touring musical performance.

"The Chinese public is largely enraged by the Nobel committee's decision, though the award has received wide acknowledgement from the West," the Global Times said in a commentary.

People surveyed

It cited a survey conducted by its own polling centre saying nearly six out of 10 people believed the prize should be withdrawn and China given an apology. A total of 866 people were questioned in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

"It is hoped the Nobel committee will reflect on their poor choice and apologise to the Chinese public," the newspaper said.

"The award is not a scarlet letter over China's forehead as the committee intended to see," it said.

"The Nobel committee has just provoked a serious ideological clash between China and (the) West. Instead of promoting peace, the Peace Prize this year deepens misunderstandings and hostility between China and the West."

The official Xinhua news agency had added to the barrage on Sunday, saying in an editorial: "In what ways have Liu's actions contributed to human rights progress for China's 1.3 billion people?"

The winner's wife Liu Xia has largely been confined to her home since the prize was announced on October 8, which she has angrily denounced via her Twitter account as an "illegal house arrest".

Dissidents and rights lawyers across the nation have reported being under increased surveillance or restrictions since the announcement.

The US, the European Union and Japan have called for Liu's release.