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Nobel Peace Prize dispute goes all the way to Cancun: Report

world Updated: Dec 09, 2010 20:07 IST

The dispute around the Nobel Peace Prize award to dissident Liu Xiaobo has had repercussions all the way to the UN climate talks in Cancun, where Chinese officials have refused to negotiate with the Norwegians, a report said on Thursday.

The Chinese "are clearly underlining the fact by refusing to hold talks (with the Norwegians) in Cancun like elsewhere," the tabloid Dagbladet quoted Environment Minister Erik Solheim as saying.

The attribution of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize by an Oslo-based committee to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo on October 8 enraged Beijing, which has since multiplied its acts of discontent towards Norway.

It has for example called off bilateral talks and stalled a free trade deal.

Liu, 54, was jailed in December 2009 for 11 years on subversion charges after co-authoring Charter 08, a bold petition calling for reform in one-party Communist-ruled China.

Still in jail, he will not be able to travel to Oslo to attend Friday's Peace Prize ceremony.

"The most important is the relationship between China and the United States, not China and Norway," Solheim told the tabloid.

"But there is no doubt that China perceives the Nobel Peace Prize as a means in the Western crusade against its regime," he added.

Norway has said numerous times that the Nobel Committee takes its decisions independently even though its five members are appointed by parliament.

Officials from more than 190 countries are holding UN-led talks in Cancun to attempt to find a solution to limit global warming following last year's failed talks in Copenhagen.