News / Asia

    China Outraged Over Nobel Peace Prize Selection

    Pro-democracy protesters raise pictures of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo with Chinese words reading: ‘Release Liu Xiaobo’ during a demonstration outside the China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, 08 Oct. 2010
    Pro-democracy protesters raise pictures of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo with Chinese words reading: ‘Release Liu Xiaobo’ during a demonstration outside the China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, 08 Oct. 2010
    Stephanie Ho

    China has lashed out at the Nobel Peace Prize committee after it awarded this year's prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who has long called for political reform in the country.

    Sarah Williams' Q&A with VOA Beijing Correspondent Stephanie Ho:

    The Chinese government's reaction was swift and unequivocal. A statement on the Chinese Foreign Ministry's website called the award "an obscenity" that goes against the aims of the award.  It warned the award also will hurt China's relations with Norway, the country where the Nobel Committee is based.

    The Chinese government's dismay had been expressed in recent days, in less harsh language, by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.

    Watch Jennifer Glasse's Companion TV Report:

    Jiang does not mention Liu Xiaobo by name, but points out that Chinese judicial authorities sentenced him to jail for violating Chinese law.


    READ MORE: 3 Questions: China and the Nobel Peace Prize

    In December, Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison for subversion, although officials have given no details of which laws he has violated.

    CHINESE REACTION

    VOA Beijing - Stephanie Ho

    • "Inside China... the government has been making an effort, apparently, to have a total news blackout on the fact that he's been awarded a Nobel prize. I mean, China would like to win a Nobel, but the thought of awarding a Nobel Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident who is in jail is not something that the Chinese government would want to make public. So there's been no news announcement on TV. In fact, when the international news channels tried to make an announcement, the Chinese apparently tried to pull the plug. My TV has been cut off quite a few times whenever the announcement comes up."

    The 54-year-old writer was detained in December 2008, shortly before the release of Charter 08 - a manifesto he helped organize that calls for sweeping political reform.

    Patrick Poon, of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, a writers' group that Liu has previously headed, says he thinks a hard-line from the Chinese government will actually inspire more people to speak out.

    "As we can also see in the situation in the past few years, there may have been more and more crackdowns, but we have not seen a decreasing number of dissidents, people expressing their views," said Poon.

    "On the contrary, we are having more and more petitioners, more and more human rights defenders coming onto the scene.  I think that will only bring a reversal effect, if the Chinese government cracks down on the people, that will have a reverse effect, to get more people in the streets," he added.

    The statement expressing the Chinese government's anger was carried on the Foreign Ministry's Webpage and aimed at outsiders.  

    Other than that, the news of the Nobel Peace prize going to Liu Xiaobo was not carried in Chinese media, and broadcasts of international TV channels carrying the news were temporarily cut.  Internet users could find information about it on the Internet, but only if they used proxies to get around cyber-blocks the Chinese government maintains to filter out information that it deems sensitive or illegal.

    Watch the announcement of Nobel Peace Prize Committee:

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora