China on Thursday urged the Nobel Peace Prize committee to award the "right person" after an expert suggested it could go to Chinese dissident Hu Jia.
"If it is to serve the purpose of world peace, the Nobel Prize should be awarded to the right person," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters. "I hope the committee will make the right choice."
Stein Toennesson, director of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, Norway, suggested yesterday the prize would go this year to a Chinese dissident, most likely Hu, to keep human rights pressure on Beijing.
"He has become the most well-known Chinese dissident," Stein said.
Hu is an ardent campaigner for civil rights, environmental protection and AIDS advocacy in China.
He was arrested last year and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail for subversion.
Humanitarian groups have strongly criticised China for its human rights record, particularly in the lead-up to and during last month's Olympic Games.
Many activists charge the Games did not bring the hoped-for improvements to China's rights record, although Beijing won praise from abroad for their organisation.