Beijing: China`s official news agency, a mouthpiece for Beijing leaders, blasted the Nobel committee today for ignoring China`s human rights development by honouring "convicted Chinese criminal Liu Xiaobo".
In one of its first commentaries since the jailed democracy activist won the peace prize on October 8, the Xinhua news agency argued China`s Communist Party had made
"unremitting efforts to promote and safeguard human rights".
"In what ways have Liu`s actions contributed to human rights progress for China`s 1.3 billion people?" Xinhua asked in an unsigned editorial. The People`s Daily, published by the Communist Party, also published one of the first Chinese-language editorials on
today reacting to the prize, also arguing this year`s award strayed from the ideals of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Liu, 54, was sentenced in December to 11 years in jail for subversion. The Oslo-based Nobel committee awarded Liu the peace prize for his advocacy of political reform and human rights in one-party China.
The United States, the European Union and Japan have called for his release. "Is the Norwegian Nobel Committee`s decision to be interpreted another way -- the once prestigious prize has degenerated into a political tool and is being manipulated by
some Western powers?" the Xinhua commentary said.
Xinhua, nicknamed the Communist Party`s "eyes and tongue", is often the only domestic media organisation permitted to report on sensitive matters. A media blackout on Nobel news began to lift on Thursday as state media began to cast Liu`s award as new
evidence of an "ideological war against China" in English language media aimed at overseas audiences.
Today`s Xinhua editorial pointed to the nine-year compulsory education in much of the country and that over three decades the number of people below the poverty line dropped to 40 million from 250 million.
"Some experts believe that in the next 30 years, the reforms may not only deepen in the economic field, but also in the social and political realms," it said. Liu`s conviction was widely seen as retaliation for authoring "Charter 08" an appeal for political reform and
human rights published in 2008.