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Nobel Peace Prize Goes To Liu Xiaobo

Nobel Peace Prize Goes To Liu Xiaobo - The Nobel Peace Prize committee held its award ceremony on Friday with an empty chair for imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, this year’s winner whose case has both sharply focused Western criticism of China’s lack of human rights and unleashed a government crackdown by Beijing on the country’s small group of political activists.

In his keynote address in Oslo, committee chair Thorbjorn Jagland not only called for Liu’s immediate release, but warned of the perils of China continuing to grow as an economic superpower without parallel development of its civil and legal institutions.

“We can to a certain degree say that China with its 1.3 billion people is carrying mankind’s fate on its shoulders,” Jagland said. “If the country proves capable of developing a social market economy with full civil rights, this will have a huge favorable impact on the world. If not, there is a danger of social and economic crises arising in the country, with negative consequences for us all.”

Nobel Peace Prize Goes To Liu Xiaobo

Liu had been taken into custody in December 2008 for his role in drafting a political manifesto known as Charter 08 that called for greater political freedoms in China, many of which are guaranteed by the nation’s own constitution. Then last December, Liu, a 54-year-old former literature professor, was given an 11-year prison sentence for attempting to subvert the state.

The Nobel ceremony, which began with trumpeters heralding the king and queen of Norway, was a very long way from the prison cell in northeast China that Liu is said to now share with five other inmates.

Nobel Peace Prize Goes To Liu Xiaobo

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