October 8th, 2010
07:06 AM ET

China calls Nobel decision 'blasphemy'; West praises it

[Update 7:55 a.m.] The Dalai Lama commented on the awarding Friday of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

"Awarding the Peace Prize to him is the international community's recognition of the increasing voices among the Chinese people in pushing China towards political, legal and constitutional reforms," he said. "I believe in the years ahead, future generations of Chinese will be able to enjoy the fruits of the efforts that the current Chinese citizens are making towards responsible governance."

[Update 7:08 a.m.] The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo was "blasphemy against the peace prize," a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday. The decision could harm relations between the nation and Norway, according to China's state media.

"Liu Xiaobo is a convicted criminal sentenced to jail by Chinese justice authorities for violation of Chinese law. His acts are in complete contradiction to the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize," foreign ministry spokesman Mao Zhaoxu said.


[Original post] Western nations praised the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Peace to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, while China and North Korea largely ignored the news.

The British Foreign Office said the decision shines a spotlight on the situation of human rights defenders worldwide. Foreign Secretary William Hague continues to call for Liu's release, it said.

The French Foreign Ministry agreed, saying: "This decision represents the defense of human rights around the world. France, like the European Union, expressed its concern upon his arrest, and called for his release on several occasions. It reiterates the call. France reiterates its attachment to freedom of expression worldwide. The Nobel committee, which made its choice independently, wanted to send a strong message to all those who peacefully advocate for the promotion and protection of Human Rights.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso issued a statement saying, "The decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee is a strong message of support to all those around the world who, sometimes with great personal sacrifice, are struggling for freedom and human rights. These values are at the core of the European Union and the decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee highlighted their importance all over the world."

In China, the People's Daily website led with a story about the Chinese stock markets climbing more than 3 percent in Friday trading. There was nothing about Liu on the Chinese government's English-language website. Nothing on CCTV state television. China Daily has a story about Thursday's Nobel in literature, awarded to Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, but nothing about Friday's Peace Prize.

Hong Kong's government news site was silent on the Nobel, but the independent South China Morning Post carried a Reuters story about Liu's prize along with several sidebars and included a flattering picture of him.

North Korea's official government news site did not mention it.

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Filed under: China • Nobel • World
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. phil

    Whitekong PS....by "our" I mean't American priests.

    October 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gus

    In this world there are "good" and "bad" writers, reporters, presidents, dictators, terrorists, drug cartels, laws, democracies, etc. it all depends whether they are WITH US (in that case they may even receive a Nobel Price, of course) or AGAINST US.
    It's that simple. Full stop

    October 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. One Malaysian Chinese

    The "With Us" or "Against Us" mentality is one cause of many world problems. This mentality can be used by anyone or any organization. Chinese see this as a gangster mentality.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. One Malaysian Chinese

    Many Chinese in the olden days had suffered from many warlords who possessed this mentality. You are deprived of options. Dictators, terrorists, drag cartels, to name a few, love this mentality.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. unthrown stone

    Silence is not peace.

    October 10, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Andreas Moser

    We should seriously rethink our economic engagement with China: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/liu-xiaobo/

    December 11, 2010 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
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