Dissident Nobel shows West`s fear: China state press

Chinese government has called Friday`s award to Liu Xiaobo an "obscenity”.

Beijing: The Nobel Peace Prize for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo showed the West cannot stomach the idea of China`s rise, state-run newspapers said on Monday, adding to the government`s furious condemnation of the award.

Beijing called Friday`s award to Liu an "obscenity”.

Some state-controlled newspapers said it showed a prejudiced West afraid of China`s rising wealth and power.

"The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to `dissident` Liu Xiaobo was nothing more than another expression of this prejudice, and behind it lies an extraordinary terror of China`s rise and the Chinese model," said the Global Times, a popular Chinese-language tabloid that has led the media charge against the Nobel decision.

If Liu`s calls for a multi-party democracy in China were followed, a commentary in the paper said: "China`s fate would perhaps be no better than the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and the country probably would have quickly collapsed."

Liu, 54, has been a thorn in the government`s side since 1989 when he joined student protesters on a hunger strike days before the Army crushed the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement, and has been in and out of jail ever since for his campaigning for freedom of speech and political liberalisation.

His lawyer, Shang Baojun, said that he had been unable to contact Liu`s wife, Liu Xia.

"I don`t have any direct news," said Shang. "She`s probably at home with communications cut off, under surveillance -- she`s called it house arrest," he said, citing messages circulated on the Internet.

On Friday, the Chinese Communist Party`s Central Committee, a policy-setting council that usually meets once a year, gathers for a meeting, adding to the net of security across Beijing.

Many signers of the "Charter 08" petition which called for sweeping political reforms have either been locked away, put under house arrest or otherwise harassed, perhaps the most famous of whom is Liu, jailed last Christmas day for 11 years.

The Ta Kung Pao, a Beijing-run Hong Kong-based newspaper, dismissed the award for Liu as "black humour" that showed the Nobel Peace Prize lacked seriousness.

"This kind of Nobel Peace Prize is no better than scrap paper," it said.

Bureau Report

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