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    » 12/03/2010, 00.00

    CHINA

    Beijing’s paranoia over Liu Xiaobo



    A week before the award ceremony is to take place, Chinese authorities are still arresting dissidents and pro-democracy activists. The Communist government says it will be difficult to maintain “friendly relations” with Norway.

    BEIJING (AsiaNews) – A week from the Nobel Prize award ceremony, more dissidents and pro-democracy activists are arrested in China. As part of their crackdown, police also prevented economist Mao Yushi and artist Ai Wei Wei from living the country, perhaps fearing they might take part in the ceremony in Oslo, Norway. Both Mao, 81, and Ai signed Charter 08, a manifesto co-authored and promoted by this year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo.

    “I have always been critical [towards the government] but I have had no trouble leaving the country” before, Mao said after he was stopped from boarding a plane for Singapore where he was supposed to participate in a conference.

    For his part, Ai said he was stopped by police after clearing immigration controls on his way to South Korea.

    "They showed me a note from the Public Security Bureau, which said my leaving China could harm national security," he explained. "I asked them how long these restrictions would last but they couldn't tell me."

    China has also renewed its attacks against the Norwegian government, which it blames for the Nobel committee's decision to award this year's Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

    “It is difficult to maintain friendly relations with Norway as in the past," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said. For Beijing, the Nobel committee and the government are the same.

    Conversely, "China will have to bear the responsibility of eventual negative consequences," Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokesman Kjetil Elsebutangen said.

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    See also

    08/10/2010 CHINA – NORWAY
    Nobel Prize goes to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo
    The scholar, author and first signatory of Chart 08, was awarded the prize because of his long-standing non-violent struggle for democracy and peace. For Beijing, it is an “obscenity”.

    06/10/2011 CHINA
    A year since Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Prize, Beijing hits Norwegian salmon
    China strikes at a Norwegian symbol, blaming the country for awarding the Chinese dissident the Nobel peace prize. A year after this recognition, Liu is still in prison in northeastern China. Chinese human rights group calls for his release.

    04/11/2010 CHINA
    Beijing leans on Europe: Do not go to the Nobel for Liu Xiaobo
    China is officially asking to all countries of the continent not to attend the ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize to dissident in prison, which will take place December 10 in Oslo.

    25/11/2010 CHINA
    Arrests and control: only one activist in Oslo for Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel
    The Nobel Committee has reserved 30 to 50 seats for friends of Liu, but has so far secured only the presence of Wan Yanhai, who fled to America last May. Prof. He Guanghui, a professor at Renmin, was detained at Beijing airport. Zhang Zuhua, Bao Tong, Ding Zilin all under house arrest.

    09/12/2010 CHINA
    Beijing launches another salvo against Nobel Committee
    After some diplomatic arm-twisting to keep as many international representatives away from Liu Xiaobo’s award ceremony, set for tomorrow in Oslo, the Chinese government is pulling no punches in its media for a last-ditch attack, claiming Liu’s supporters hate China. It also pops up its own Confucius Prize for Peace, giving it to Lien Chan, the Kuomintang’s honorary chairman in Taiwan.



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