Using it as a bargaining chip, India - the world's largest democracy - is all set to take part in the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony "as of now" for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in Oslo on Friday.
The move comes ahead of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India from December 15 to
The ministry of external affairs refused to comment on India's participation. Beijing has asked several countries, including India, to boycott the ceremony or face its displeasure.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson called the prize an open support for criminal activities in China.
It is learnt Brazil and South Africa (from the IBSA grouping) are likely to take part in the ceremony.
India has sounded out the Nobel Prize Committee that it will attend the presentation ceremony.
PTI quoted Torill Johansen, secretary in the Nobel Committee staff, as saying India was among 44 countries that have informed organisers of their participation.
But Beijing's campaign to boycott the ceremony got bigger and sharper.
"We will not change because of interference by a few clowns," snapped Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu at a media briefing on Tuesday.
The official said China had the "explicit support" of more than 100 countries and international organisations. It was not clear whether this group will boycott the ceremony.
Jiang did not name the countries but said "a majority" of the international community support China. Beijing has warned Norway that the prize decision made it difficult to maintain friendly ties.
The Nobel committee says 19 nations including China will not attend the ceremony "for various reasons".
Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq are among those.
In December 2009, Liu, co-author of a charter for democratic rights, was sentenced to
jail for "inciting subversion".
The committee awarded him the peace prize "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China".