Accelerating its assault on the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, China denounced the prize on Friday as a political tool of the West, and an official warned that countries acknowledging the honour would “bear the consequences.”
A commentary in the principal party newspaper People’s Daily suggested that Liu’s award was a plot by the US and other Western democracies that “fear the rise of China” and seek to subvert its political system.
Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai reinforced that critique, calling the prize a “highly politicised event” and telling foreign countries they had a stark choice between challenging China’s judicial system and developing friendly relations with Beijing, reported AP.
China’s Communist hierarchy has bitterly criticised the award, calling Liu a criminal and asserting that giving him the award demeans the prize.
The actions on Friday came on the heels of reports that China had pressured European nations in written démarches to boycott the Nobel ceremony next month in Oslo and to refrain from congratulating Liu.