China Appeals to Countries to Boycott Nobel Ceremony

K J M Varma/Beijing
China Appeals to Countries to Boycott Nobel Ceremony
China today made a last minute appeal to countries to stay away from a Nobel ceremony where Chinese dissident Liu Xiabao will be awarded the Peace Prize, amid decision by India and some others to attend the event.

"We are of the view that countries on the basis of equal respect and non interference in the internal affairs of other countries should have dialogue and cooperation", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told the media briefing here answering a question about reports that several countries including India plan to attend it.

"We hope those countries that have received invitation can tell right from and wrong. It is not an issue of human rights" but about the interference internal affairs, which was the aim of the award", she said without directly referring to India.

The Foreign Ministry has not yet officially announced the visit of Chinese Premier visit to India and Pakistan and Jiang said today that it will be announced in due course.

As the official announcement made in New Delhi, the Chinese Premier would come on a three day visit New Delhi on December 15 and from there he would proceed to Pakistan.

India has decided to attend the ceremony where the Nobel Peace Prize will be presented to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in Oslo on Friday, notwithstanding China's call for a boycott of the function.

India is among 44 countries which has confirmed its participation as against 19 countries, including Pakistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Columbia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam and Afghanistan which have for various reasons declined the invitation.

On the Nobel prize ceremony Jiang reiterated her Tuesday claim that over 100 countries and organisations would boycott tomorrow's ceremony with respect to the appeal by China.

"Majority of international community does not support the erroneous decision of the Nobel Committee" in granting prize to Liu, whom she termed as a criminal, sentenced for indulging in activities to 'overthrow' Chinese political system.

"Action by the Nobel Committee can not change criminal facts about Liu."

"Any attempt to exert pressure and disrupt china’s development can not succeed," she said.

"Why Liu was convicted and why China is not happy? I would like to tell you that Liu was not convicted for his remarks and criticism," she said adding that his 11 year sentence was due to his attempt subvert China's political system and instigating people to overthrow it.
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