Analysis: US-China Ties Strained by Dissident

AP looks at the impact of Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel prize on U.S.-China ties in light of President Obama’s words of support for the new laureate:

Ever-delicate U.S.-China relations had seemed to be warming, with the countries agreeing recently to end an eight-month freeze on military exchanges. But Obama’s praise Friday for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel award will likely further rattle China at a time when the United States is stepping up pressure on Beijing over a currency policy Washington blames for job losses in the United States.

This recent swing from calls for cooperation to criticism is typical of a complicated relationship that both countries call important for world stability. U.S. officials are trying, with varying success, to press China on economic and human rights matters without jeopardizing Chinese support on Iranian and North Korean nuclear standoffs, climate change and other difficult issues.

The Obama administration says the relationship is mature enough to weather disagreements and to engage in blunt discussions. But Beijing, wary of appearing weak at a time of rising nationalism and deep social turmoil, often bristles at what it views as U.S. interference.

In a statement released hours after Liu was awarded the Nobel, Obama praised the dissident as an “eloquent and courageous” supporter of human rights and democracy “who has sacrificed his freedom for his beliefs.”

The Chinese government has blasted the award and called Liu a criminal.

The Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to people who contribute to national harmony, country-to-country friendship, to advancing disarmament, and for convening and propagandizing peace conferences, Ma said.

He claimed this was the wish of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prizes.

Ma said Liu was a criminal sentenced by the Chinese judicial authorities for violating Chinese law.

“What he has done is contrary to the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize,” he said.

The Nobel committee’s decision to award the peace prize to such a person ran contrary to and desecrated the prize, he said.

See also “Nobel Prize Is Seen as Rebuke to China” and “Angry China Blocks Prize Celebration,” both from the New York Times.

And from Al Jazeera:

Read CDT’s previous coverage of the award.


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