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. meltemi

    "blasphemy against the peace prize"... now they know how we felt when Obama won it.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Obama received the prize because we wanted to encourage him to work for peace. The prize has been given several times in order to support peace now and in the future.
      This is not some simple American award in recognition of some supposed quality or history. This is a living tool to aid and guide people, small nudges that have the potential to change things.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      Took the words right out of my mouth.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • yeah..

      Obama got it for not being Bush. That is all. If not they might have waited until after Obama actually did anything, you know like close Gitmo, recall the troops from Iraq and Afghan, repeal thePatriot Act. (Not one of which he has done) The Nobel comittee has made this award meaningless.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Meltemi.......you hit the nail on the head. Last year, blasphemy was precisely defined.

      October 8, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • cattleclass

      good call.. Obama stole it last year.. At least they got it right this year..

      October 8, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • IggyDad

      Obama tried to close Guantanamo, but Fox/GOP stoked up the fear campaign and the funding was not approved. Now they criticize him for not doing it. Typical.
      The last U.S. combat brigades departed Iraq in August, as he had said he would happen.
      Obama never said he would end the Afghan war, because that is where the real fight against terror needs to happen. Again, it's typical for Fox/GOP to criticize him for this when they would almost certainly be calling him a traitor if he withdrew. Read Obama's Nobel speech from last December and see what he said about both peace and security in the world. You might be surprised.

      October 8, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      meltemi, you're an idiot radicalist who should'nt comment if you dont have anything enlightening to say

      October 8, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • meltemi

      Charles: I so envy your record for intelligent, enlightening commentary.

      October 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Greg

    Oh great, another day of conservative claptrap about the Nobel Peace Prizes awarded to Presidents Obama and Carter and Vice President Gore. Guess they missed a chance to reward Bush for actually starting an unprovoked war. I guess I'm surprised that someone who feels that way actually spends time over here in "the mainstream media."

    October 8, 2010 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. phil

    Keep in mind that the nobel peace prize was once awarded to Adolf Hitler. Kinda makes one wonder if the prize is about true peace....or just something that appears to be.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • ARo

      The peace prize was NOT given to Hitler, you idiot.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Simon

      Adolf never got the peace prize dimwit.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Gom Jabbar

      Sorry, but you are incorrect. Hitler was once nominated (by ONE member of the committee), but was never awarded the prize. Check your facts, buddy . . .

      October 8, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      phil: Hitler was never awarded the peace price, he was merely nominated and the nomination itself was a protest and not meant to be taken seriously. Thousands of persons and organizations have been nominated, but that doesn't imply a support from the Nobel price committee.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • runningmad

      Phil, inform yourself before you post erroneous information. Hitle was nominated by Eric Bandt who then retracted his nomination. Keep in mind that anyone can be nominated. These nomiantions go in front of a committe who has the final say so.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • norwegian

      No he was not! How could you even say that??! You're outright lying.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      ... It was never awarded to Hitler. He was nominated for it. In jest.

      Look it up.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Frode

      That is not true, he was of course never awarded the price. Hitler was nominated of a member of the Swedish parliament as a protest to the nomination of Neville Chamberlain for the prize. The nomination was retracted after a few days. The member of the parliament never intended for this nomination to be seriously considered.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • skwerl

      Hitler was never awarded the prize. He was once nominated as an form of protest against the nomination of Neville Chamberlain, but the nomination was rescinded. If you're going to post false information, at least make it information that's not refutable by a two-minute Google search. Idiot.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Wes M

      Hitler was not awarded the Nobel Prize. He should... after all Arafat got it too and he was a peaceful guy. Remember the Munich Olympics.

      October 8, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Shotgun Ricky Ratchet

      Adolf Hitler was never awarded the Nobel peace prize, but Yasser Arafat was, and that kind of makes the nobel peace prize a joke, and of course giving it to Obama was a big joke also.

      October 8, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    blas·phe·my – an act of cursing or reviling God. The Chinese government holds themselves in high regards…

    October 8, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. mackinder

    china needs to get a grip, and I'm saying this as an overseas Chinese.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  6. sysin3

    not that I give a flying fig what a bunch of communist asshats think

    October 8, 2010 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • TheBornLoser

      Doubt those communist asshats give a flying fig of what an asshat like you thinks either. Heck, you possibly don't even register on their radar at all. "Too insignificant and object" would be the accurate description.

      October 8, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Stoutboy

    At least this guy is legit. He's walked the walk. But the Nobel Committee has a long way to go to regain its credibility after awarding it to Barack Obama. Obama winning it was a mockery. He is just as warlike as Bush, and he has degraded the state of civil liberties in the US even further than Bush.

    Carter fully deserved his–he achieved something. Any of you who think Obama deserved it are barmy. I felt utterly embarrassed–and I voted for they guy.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. phil

    We should care what China thinks. After all, they have been loaning US money since March of this year just so our government can meet social security obligations.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      Phil, you've already been called on the carpet as an idiot for posting the lie that Hitler got the nobel prize. Do you want to retract this false statement of yours, too?

      October 8, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. phil

    Yes, for the first time in US history, as of march 2010, the social security administration was not able to meet it's obligations. If not for China extending US credit, your S.S. check would not have arrived.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • ARo

      China only owns 20% of the US debt. How do you know that this 20% is paying Social Security? Maybe it's paying for Defense, in which case China is funding its own adversaries. Pretty dumb of China. Actually, pretty dumb of Phil for having no clue how international finance works.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. huwudi

    It's time to boycott all Norwegian products in China. This guy clearly violated Chinese law, therefore he sits in jail. Actually, Nobel Peace Prize is really meaningless. Even Obama got one last year, what did he do?

    October 8, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      Hiwudi, will my posting a list of other nobel prize winners who broke unfair laws of dictatorial regimes get you out of your idiotic sino-jingoism?

      October 8, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Liberty&Democracy_for_China

      你這個狗養的五毛黨,簡直是中國人之恥 (As a Chinese, you should be ashame of your words).

      October 8, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • ARo

      Well said, Liberty&Democracy_for_China. I look forward to the day when China is free and democratic. It will be an incredible force for good in the world.

      October 8, 2010 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. Wow

    First of all, on the actual topic of the article (rather than some strained attempt to make a half-baked political joke) – being imprisoned by a totalitarian nation doesn't preclude you from winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Anyone remember Nelson Mandela? Served eighteen years in prison. Won the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Secondly, Just wow. Meltemi... Really?

    Obama should get a prize for being the first non-white man in that position, ever.

    Obama deserves a prize for not being Bush. Either of them. (The rest of us should get Nobel Peace Prizes for that as well, though).

    Obama ought to be showered with praise and prizes for attempting to redress damage to the smoldering wreckage of a free, liberated civilization that his predecessor left in his wake.

    I don't normally scold people like you, as it is kind of pointless (unless I come up with some revolutionary way to scold people into developing critical thinking skills, that is) but seriously – the contempt for a person with the cojones to try and fix something as desperately broken as our nation is getting annoying.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • ARo

      "Obama ought to be showered with praise and prizes for attempting to redress damage to the smoldering wreckage of a free, liberated civilization that his predecessor left in his wake."

      What civilization is that? The US? It's a lot more smoldering now, after Obama has successfully unemployed and driven into poverty millions and millions of Americans. Oh, I forgot, that's Bush's fault. Everything is Bush's fault.

      October 8, 2010 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • meltemi

      wow – yes, really. You assert that Obama should have should have won simply because he is the first non-white president of the US and then lecture others about their critical thinking skills? Do you expect people to take you seriously?? "...the smoldering wreckage of a free, liberated civilization...". I don't think you were being sarcastic; you have my sympathy. As if all the world's problems are Bush's fault. The past 50 years of greed, corruption and incompetence on behalf of our elected officials (I can't bring myself to call them "leaders") have nothing at all to do with it. Neither does all that voter apathy that keeps re-electing slightly different flavors of the same old BS.

      October 8, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. warytravler

    I'm sure Nazi Germany would have shared China's view.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. db

    Funny in a way, Nobel invented Dinomite, an explosive used in war. You have to question the sainity of the group who awards some of the prizes, Obama, Gore, give me a break what are they thinking? Both are do nothing two faced idiots who actually cause more problems overall? At least Bush didn't get one.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Rich H in NJ

      It's not so much "funny"; it's the reason he created the Peace Prize, which was originally the only prize. He didn't want his legacy to be dynamite. Supposedly when his brother died, a local newspaper accidentally ran his own obituary instead. He read his own obit describing himself as the inventor of dynamite, and decided he didn't want that to be how he was remembered.

      October 8, 2010 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lisa

    So, Phil, since I don't receive social security, is it okay if I for one support human rights? Is that too much to ask? Just checking.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • nick gill

      It would be better if you supported human rights with something more meaningful than a comment on a CNN article.

      October 8, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. jean

    They tug and mumble, scratch and grumble but Obama would see out his double term. Obama would remain president. Please leave him out of this thread and focus on the topic. Why would anyone want to listen to China with a terrible human rights violation history.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • yeah..

      Your use of the term would is accurate. He would if he actually stood for anything. When will he close Gitmo? When will he end our unjust wars? When will he foster human rights in our trading partners rather than kowtowing to Chinese slave masters?

      October 8, 2010 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • ARo

      What do you mean by "unjust"? Was Saddam just? Is the Taliban just? Who determines what "just" is?

      October 8, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
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