Dignitaries from round the world cheered the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Chinese dissident, in the face of vitriolic criticism from Beijing that highlighted the gulf dividing the country’s political system from the west.
世界各国要人纷纷为诺贝尔委员会将今年的和平奖(Nobel Peace Prize)授予正在狱中服刑的中国异见人士刘晓波而喝彩。受到北京方面刺耳批评的这一奖项，凸显了中国与西方在政治制度上的鸿沟。
Mr Liu, who is serving an 11-year sentence in China for subversion, was represented at Friday’s ceremony in Oslo by an empty chair – only the fifth time in the 109-year history of the award that the winner has been absent.
The ceremony at Oslo City Hall was attended by diplomats from about two-thirds of the countries invited but at least 19 nations, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, stayed away, amid intense Chinese pressure for a boycott.
US President Barack Obama, last year’s peace prize winner, issued a statement praising Mr Liu. “Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was,” he said. “The values he espouses are universal, his struggle is peaceful, and he should be released as soon as possible.”
Continuing its harsh denunciation of the prize, Jiang Yu, a foreign ministry official, called the event was a “political farce”.
“Facts have fully shown that the decision of the Norwegian Nobel committee does not represent the wish of the majority of the people in the world, particularly that of the developing countries,” she said. “Prejudice and lies are untenable and the cold war mentality has no popular support.”
CNN and BBC were blocked in many Beijing residential compounds during news of the ceremony. On the internet, which is routinely screened for political content in China, sentences containing the phrase “empty chair” were also apparently censored.
Outside Mr Liu’s apartment in Beijing, where his wife Liu Xia has been held under house arrest since the award was announced, large blue screens were erected, preventing television cameras from having a view of the building.
Mr Liu, who played a leading role in the Tiananmen Square protests against the Chinese government in 1989, was jailed last year for his co-authorship of a document called Charter 08, which called for democratic reforms.
An essay by Mr Liu reflecting on his experiences in 1989 and looking forward to a “free China” was read at the ceremony by a Norwegian actor, with a large picture of him displayed behind the podium. He was honoured with a lengthy ovation from the audience.
Thorbjørn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel committee, said China deserved credit for lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty but warned the country would be hobbled by “corruption, abuse of power and misrule” if it failed to embrace political reform.
挪威诺贝尔委员会(Nobel committee)主席托尔比约恩•亚格兰(Thorbjørn Jagland)表示，中国让数亿人脱贫的成就是值得肯定的，但警告称，如果中国不能接受政治改革，就会受到“腐败、权力滥用和治理不善的”妨碍。
Among the countries to praise the award for Mr Liu was Taiwan. Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s president, called for Mr Liu to be released and said “concern for human rights does not distinguish between nationalities and borders”.