Nobel Prize to Mo shows country`s growing influence: China

Congratulating this year`s Nobel Literature Prize winner Mo Yan, China said that it reflected the progress of Chinese literature and the communist giant`s growing influence around the world.

Updated: Oct 12, 2012, 17:37 PM IST

Beijing: Congratulating this year`s Nobel Literature Prize winner Mo Yan, China on Friday said that it reflected the progress of Chinese literature and the communist giant`s growing influence around the world.

In a congratulatory message to Mo, 57, senior ruling Communist Party leader Li Changchun, also the propaganda chief of the party, said Mo`s "victory reflects the prosperity and progress of Chinese literature, as well as the increasing influence of China".

In his letter to the China Writers Association, an official body, Li member of the influential Politburo said, "China moved rapidly with the reform, opening-up and the modernisation drive, great creative vitality has burst out from Chinese literary circles".

The Nobel Prize to Mo, a former PLA soldier who is regarded as close to the Communist Party and has never voiced criticism against the one party system, came just as the Party is poised for once in a decade leadership change next month.

The Prize to the pro-government figure was considered to be a victory of the strong stand taken by China against Norway and Nobel Committee which in the past has granted Nobel Prizes to Liu Xiaobo and the Dalai Lama both regarded as dissidents.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, which carried a tirade against Norway for granting Nobel Peace Prize to Liu, who still continued to languish in prison, warmly congratulated Mo for winning the Nobel Prize for Literature, shedding its long held reservations against the international award.

"We congratulate Mo Yan on winning the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said when asked for his reaction.

Hong said Mo was already famous in China and had won the Mao Zedong literature prize.

"His literary attainment is well known to all. The Chinese nation has a time honoured history and splendid culture which is a common asset of all mankind", he said.

"We hope friends from across the world will have better understanding of the Chinese culture and experience of the charisma of the fine Chinese literature", he said.

Asked how the Nobel Prize is palatable now while it was denounced in the case of Lu last year, Hong said, "two years ago the Norwegian Nobel committee made a decision which is a serious violation of China`s internal affairs and its judicial sovereignty."

After the award to Liu, China has virtually down graded its relations with Norway holding its squarely responsible.

Liu is yet to collect his Prize as his wife Lu Xia too was kept under house detention and was not allowed to travel.

Mo Yan told the state-run CCTV that he would go to Norway to receive the Prize.

Asked whether the Nobel Literature Prize to Mo would help
to mend the strained ties with Norway, Hong said, "as for China`s relations with relevant country it is up to those people to untie the knot and relevant country should make concrete efforts".

Official media warmly welcomed granting the Prize to Mo saying that granting of the Prize to Mo was effort by Nobel committee to mend fences with China.

"The award recognises Mo`s literary achievements and status. But could the decision also be a sign of the Nobel committee seeking to mitigate tensions with China after awarding the Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo in 2010? ", asked state-run Global Times daily in its editorial.

"Ordinarily, we should treat the Nobel Prize with indifference, as past prizes have tended to be politicised, just like the peace prize. However, it seems that Chinese society has attached a great deal of attention to the Nobel Prize in Literature and other Nobel prizes," it said.

"We are surrounded by Western culture`s soft power. Previously, Peace prizes for the Dalai Lama and Liu Xiaobo conveyed very unfriendly and even hostile massages", the editorial said.

"China has created many miracles in the past three decades, including lasting economic growth without incurring any wars. This should be recognised by the Nobel committee, which shouldn`t only focus on the fringes of Chinese society. It doesn`t add to the glory of Nobel Prize if it is at odds with China for long", it said.