Chinese official media slams Nobel Committee for honouring Liu
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Last Updated: Saturday, October 09, 2010, 14:12
Beijing: Denouncing as "a paranoid choice" the Nobel Committee's decision to award the Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the official media here today said it was an attempt to create "an ideological rift" in China to trigger a collapse like that of the Soviet Union.

The Nobel prize to a dissident "naturally generates animosity among many Chinese against the award," said 'Global Times', the only English language newspaper to carry an editorial on the award to Liu.

Most of the other official newspapers published only the Chinese Foreign Ministry's reaction, which condemned the Nobel Committee for honouring a "criminal".

"They (Chinese) have reason to question whether the Nobel Peace Prize has been degraded to a political tool that serves an anti-China purpose. It seems that instead of peace and unity in China, the Nobel Committee would like to see the country split by an ideological rift, or better yet, collapse like the Soviet Union," it said.

Terming the award to Liu, who is serving an 11 year jail sentence for his advocacy for democracy and human rights in China, as a "disgrace", the newspaper said the Nobel Committee "once again displayed its arrogance and prejudice against a country that has made the most remarkable economic and social progress in the past three decades." The Nobel Prize has been generally perceived as a prestigious award in China, but many Chinese feel the peace prize is loaded with Western ideology, it said.

"Last century the prize was awarded several times to pro-West advocates in the former Soviet Union, including Mikhail Gorbachev, whose efforts directly led to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The Western preference of the Nobel committee did not disappear with the end of the Cold War. The committee continues to deny China's development by making paranoid choices," it said.

"In 1989, the Dalai Lama, a separatist, won the prize.

Liu Xiaobo, the new winner, wants to copy Western political systems in China. There are many different perspectives to view these two people, but neither of the two are among those who made constructive contributions to China's peace and growth in recent decades," it said. Other Chinese dissidents such as the exiled leader of Muslim Uyghur community in China's Xinjiang province and another prominent dissident Hu Jia were reportedly on the shortlist for the peace prize this year, "which naturally generates animosity among many Chinese against the award," the paper said.

"Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to 11 years in jail by the Chinese government last year. Several countries tried to interfere into China's domestic affairs. What the Nobel Committee did on Friday was a continuation of that act. The controversy in the West over Liu Xiaobo's sentence is not based on legal concerns. They are trying to impose Western values on China," it said.

Obviously, the Nobel Peace Prize this year is meant to irritate China, but it will not succeed, the paper said.

"On the contrary, the Committee disgraced itself. The award however makes it clearer that it is difficult for China to win applause from the West during China's development, and China needs to be more determined and confident in choosing its own development path, which is different from Western approach," it said.

The Nobel committee made an "unwise choice, but it and the political force it represents cannot dictate China's future growth," the editorial said.


First Published: Saturday, October 09, 2010, 14:12

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