The head of the Nobel Committee insisted today this year's choice of peace laureate, jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, was not "against" Beijing.
"This is not a prize against China. This is a prize honouring people in China," Thorbjoern Jagland told a press conference traditionally held by the laureate on the day before the annual peace prize ceremony.
Stressing China's massive economic development, Jagland however insisted it was important to push for parallel political reforms and an opening of the civil society.
"To a large extent the future of the world is in the hands of this big country," he said.
Speaking of the empty chair that will represent this year's absent prize winner, who remains in a Chinese prison, he said "it is a very strong symbol (that) shows how appropriate this prize was.
Nobel Not a Prize Against China: Prize Committee Head
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