News / Asia

China Lashes Out at US Congressional Resolution to Support Jailed Nobel Laureate

A worker installs a banner outside the Nobel Peace Center for Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo in Oslo, Norway, 09 Dec 2010
A worker installs a banner outside the Nobel Peace Center for Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo in Oslo, Norway, 09 Dec 2010

China is lashing out at a U.S. House of Representatives resolution that calls on Beijing to release jailed dissident and Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, one day before the Nobel award ceremony in Oslo.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu expressed China's firm opposition to the U.S. congressional resolution.

She says the resolution disregards facts and flagrantly interferes in China's in internal affairs.

Jiang said Thursday that Beijing urges U.S. lawmakers to change their "arrogant and unreasonable attitude", and show respect for China's legal sovereignty.

What the resolution says

With near unanimous approval, the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday agreed on a resolution that congratulates Liu for winning the Peace Prize and honors his efforts to promote democratic reform in China.

A Chinese court convicted Liu Xiaobo of subversion and last year sentenced him to 11 years in jail. The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Thursday accused him of agitating for the overthrow of the Chinese government.

Liu Xiaobo's background


Liu is a dissident writer and long-time activist who has worked for decades for free speech and political reform. He was a key organizer of Charter 08, which was released publicly at the end of 2008, calling on government to respect constitutional guarantees and apply them fairly to all Chinese citizens.

Since the award was announced in October, China has cracked down on dissidents and pressured other countries to boycott Friday's Nobel ceremony in Oslo, where Liu will be honored. It has barred his family from going to accept the prize on Liu's behalf.

Interference


Jiang rebuffed questions of whether China was interfering in other countries' internal affairs by sending letters urging them to stay way from the Nobel ceremony.

First, she asked if people think other countries have the right to interfere with China's judicial sovereignty. Then, she asked, does China not have the right to explain its position?

She also rejected suggestions that China is pressuring Chinese living in Oslo to stage anti-Nobel demonstrations. In her answer, she repeated China's position that there are many people who oppose the Nobel Peace prize award this year.

Following the Nobel award to Liu, a Chinese group announced the creation of the Confucius Peace Prize and awarded it on Thursday to Lien Chan, a former vice president of Taiwan. Lien was honored for efforts to bring peace between China and Taiwan. The organizers of the prize named for the ancient philosopher say it is intended to show Chinese views on peace.


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