Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo was this year awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Speaking in Norwegian capital Oslo, the head of the Nobel committee described Liu as "the foremost symbol" of the human rights struggle in China. Obviously, the decision did not go down well with the Chinese regime which called Liu “a criminal who violated Chinese law”. Beijing even described the move an insult to the peace prize itself. China also urged nations to boycott the Nobel ceremony, and most nations fell in line, in a bid to not anger the Communist regime.
Liu was jailed last Christmas Day for subversion of state power and for being the lead author of Charter 08, a manifesto by intellectuals and activists calling for democratic reform in the one-party state. Other winners of 2010 Nobel Prizes: Chemistry - Richard F Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki; Medicine - Robert G Edwards; Physics - Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov; Literature - Mario Vargas Llosa; Economics - Peter Diamond, Dale T Mortensen and Christopher A Pissarides.