As a petition circulates calling on the Nobel committee to award the Peace Prize to imprisoned activist Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese government has warned the committee against doing just that. From Reuters:
The head of the Norwegian Nobel Institute said on Monday that a senior Chinese official told him that awarding the peace prize to a Chinese dissident would affect relations between Oslo and Beijing.
Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad’s comments came after Czech dissident Vaclav Havel called on the Nobel Peace Committee to award the prize to jailed Chinese human rights campaigner Liu Xiaobo.
Lundestad, who organises the meetings of the secretive five-member Nobel Peace Prize Committee, said China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying met him during a visit to Oslo this summer to deliver the message.
“(Such a decision) would pull the wrong strings in relations between Norway and China, it would be seen as an unfriendly act,” Lundestad told Norwegian news agency NTB, repeating Fu’s comments during their meeting at the Chinese embassy in Oslo.
Lundestad added that “China has come with warnings before, but they have no influence on the committee’s work.”