China cries foul over peace prize, dissident’s wife elated | Pakistan Today

China cries foul over peace prize, dissident’s wife elated

China on Friday slammed the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo as a violation of the honour’s ideals, while the laureate’s joyful wife led calls for his immediate release.
Beijing — which has repeatedly branded the 54-year-old writer a criminal following his December 2009 jailing for 11 years on subversion charges — also warned Norway that ties would suffer over the Nobel committee’s decision.
“The Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to those who work to promote ethnic harmony, international friendship, disarmament and who hold peace meetings. These were (Alfred) Nobel’s wishes,” foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said.
“Liu Xiaobo was found guilty of violating Chinese law and sentenced to prison by Chinese judicial organs,” Ma said in a statement on the ministry’s website.
“His actions run contrary to the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize. By awarding the prize to this person, the Nobel committee has violated and blasphemed the award.”
Liu — who was previously jailed for his involvement in the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy protests — was arrested in late 2008 after co-writing Charter 08, a bold manifesto calling for political reform in Communist-ruled China.
His conviction last year earned widespread international condemnation, and the West has repeatedly called for his release, as has his wife Liu Xia, who on Friday expressed her joy at the news of the honour bestowed upon her husband.
“I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I don’t know what to say,” Liu Xia told AFP by telephone.
“I want to thank everyone for supporting Liu Xiaobo. I want to thank the Nobel committee, Vaclav Havel, the Dalai Lama and all those people that have supported Liu Xiaobo,” she said. “I strongly ask that the Chinese government release Liu Xiaobo.”

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