The Chinese government has warned that relations with Norway could suffer should a Chinese dissident be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010.
Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying conveyed that message during a visit to Norway earlier this year, Nobel Institute director Geir Lundestad told Norwegian broadcaster NPK.
The institute assists the five member Nobel Committee in selecting the winner. This year’s prize is to be announced October 8.
A handful of Chinese dissidents, including imprisoned Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, AIDS activist Hu Jia, and human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, are believed to be among the record 237 nominees this year.
Lundestad has earlier mentioned similar signals from other Chinese officials, noting however that the Nobel Committee did not shy away from awarding the 1989 peace prize to Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.