China to Europe: Boycott Nobel Ceremony

And intensifies the crackdown at home
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2010 12:14 PM CDT
Hong Kong legislator Raymond Wong Yuk-man, right, and other protesters attend a demonstration in support of Liu Xiaobo at Hong Kong Legislative Council, Nov. 3, 2010.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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(Newser) – China is leaning on European governments to skip the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo, and to refrain from issuing their usual statements of congratulations. In a diplomatic note to European embassies in Oslo, China argued that Liu is a criminal, and that the award interferes with China’s internal affairs. Chinese officials have also called foreign diplomats to warn that attending will strain diplomatic relations, the New York Times reports.

One European diplomat in Beijing said the demand would not go over well. “You could expect it, because if you look at their reaction, it’s been really unreasonable,” he said. “It’s not something that looks very good, but it’s something that it seems they cannot understand.” China has also intensified its crackdown on Liu’s supporters; one friend says security officers are preventing him from leaving his home, and that his phone service has been cut off. “The situation is getting really bad.”

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