Stockholm: This year`s Nobel literature winner Mo Yan, who has been criticised for his cozy relationship with China`s Communist Party, compared censorship to airport security checks, suggesting today that it is sometimes necessary.
Mo said he doesn`t feel that censorship should stand in the way of truth but that any defamation, or rumors, "should be censored."
"But I also hope that censorship, per se, should have the highest principal," he said in comments translated by an interpreter from Chinese into English.
He spoke at a news conference in Stockholm, where he is spending several days before receiving his prestigious prize in an awards ceremony next Monday.
Addressing an issue that is extremely sensitive for China`s authoritarian Communist regime, Mo likened censorship to the thorough security procedures he had to go through at the airport on his way to Stockholm.
"When I was taking my flight, going through the customs ... They also wanted to check me even taking off my belt and shoes," he said. "But I think these checks are necessary."
Mo dodged questions about fellow writer and compatriot Liu Xiaobo, who won the Peace Prize in 2010 but remains in prison. Mo has previously said that he hopes Liu will be freed soon, but he refused to elaborate.
"On the same evening of my winning the prize, I already expressed my opinion, and you can get online to make a search," he said, telling the crowd that he hoped they wouldn`t press him on the subject of Liu.
Mo is to receive his Nobel next week along with the winners in medicine, physics, chemistry and economics.
The Nobel Peace Prize is handed out in a separate ceremony in Oslo on the same day.