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China Cites International Support for Anti-Nobel Stand


A picture of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is carried by a protester during a rally demanding his release outside China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, 11 Oct 2010 (file photo)

A picture of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is carried by a protester during a rally demanding his release outside China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, 11 Oct 2010 (file photo)

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu Tuesday repeated the position that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu, a man the Chinese government considers a criminal, was a mistake. And she said Beijing is not alone in its opposition.

Jiang says more than 100 countries and international organizations that have expressed their support for China. She calls them "upholders of justice."

She would not name any of the countries and groups, nor provide a list of them.

Liu Xiaobo is serving an 11-year prison sentence after a Chinese court convicted him last year of subversion.

He was detained in late 2008, shortly before the public release of Charter 08, a manifesto calling for freedom of speech and sweeping political reform. Liu was one of the key authors of Charter 08, which has gathered thousands of Chinese signatures of support online.

The Nobel Committee says the award may not be handed out this year, because Chinese authorities are preventing Liu's wife and relatives from leaving the country to attend the ceremony on Friday.

As is traditional, the committee invited all 65 countries with diplomatic representation in Oslo to attend the ceremony. Of those, 44 countries will attend, two have still not replied, and 19 have declined.

By comparison, a committee press release says 10 embassies did not attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Martti Ahtisaari in 2008.

Chinese spokeswoman Jiang accused the Nobel committee of "orchestrating an anti-China farce."

Jiang says China opposes countries making an issue out of the Liu Xiaobo case and using it to interfere in China's internal affairs.

She said China's stability and development have already provided an answer to critics - that the government thinks the country is on the right path and will not change direction.

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