The Chinese Governement has hit out at a leading contender for the Nobel Peace Prize saying he is undeserving of the honour.
Hu Jia is a human rights activist, who was arrested and jailed for the duration of the Beijing Olympics along with Gao Zhizheng, another dissident, thought to be in the running
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, made it plain Beijing would be outraged if Hu is named as the winner.
“We think the Nobel Peace Prize should be given to people deserving of the award,” he said.
Referring to Hu Jia he added: “It runs counter to the purpose of this prize if it were to be given to such a person.”
Also in the running is Russian human rights lawyer Lidia Yusopova who has championed the cause of victims of the Chechen war and fought for the killers of journalist Anna Politkovska to be brought to justice.
The award ceremony, in Oslo, scheduled for 11 am today, will be covered live by euronews.