China Thursday said its relations with Norway had been affected by the Nobel committee’s decision to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to “convicted criminal” Liu Xiaobo.
“I think it is difficult to maintain China-Norway relations as well as they were in the past, because the Nobel Committee conferred the Nobel Peace Prize on a convicted Chinese criminal, and the Norwegian government publicly expressed its support for such a decision,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
“I deem it reasonable and understandable for some (Chinese) departments to cast doubts on normal bilateral exchanges and cooperation with Norway,” she was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Jiang said the Nobel Committee’s decision is tantamount to overt support for criminal activities in China, which is “flagrant defiance” and “gross interference” in China’s judicial system.
She urged the international community not to maintain “double standards” with regard to the rule of law, since many countries including the US and Britain also have similar laws against subversion.
“The issue of Liu Xiaobo is not a matter of free speech and human rights. It is a matter of respecting other countries’ judicial rights and how to view China’s development path and social system,” she said.
Liu, a Chinese citizen, was sentenced to 11 years in jail Dec 25, 2009, after a Beijing court found him guilty of violating the law and engaging in activities designed to overthrow the government.