The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize has gone to the Chinese political dissident and human rights campaigner Liu Xiabao.
The 55-year-old was among the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Last year he was arrested and jailed for 11 years while collecting signatures for his pro-democracy charter.
“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace. Such rights are a pre-requisite for the fraternity between nations of which Alfred Nobel wrote in his will,“ Committee Chairman Thorbjörn Jagland told dignitaries at the ceremony in Oslo.
Liu is the first Chinese citizen to ever receive a Nobel prize. But commentators say news of the award is likely to anger the authorities in Beijing.
China’s Deputy Foreign Minister is already on record as saying that giving the prize to Liu Xiabao would be seen as an “unfriendly action with negative consequences for the relationship between Norway and China.”
Amid China’s unprecedented economic growth, it once more shines a light on the country’s human rights record.
Nobel Peace Prize goes to jailed Chinese dissident