Obama’s praise of Nobel laureate doesn’t sit well with China

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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The Chinese Embassy on Friday criticized President Barack Obama’s praise of imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo as recipient of the Nobel Peace prize.

The president applauded the choice, calling Liu someone who “has sacrificed his freedom for his beliefs.” Though Obama noted the advances that China has made economically, he said the “award reminds us that political reform has not kept pace, and that the basic human rights of every man, woman and child must be respected.”

In a carefully worded response submitted to The Daily Caller, embassy spokesman Wang Baodong made clear China’s discontent with both the Nobel committee’s choice and Obama’s statement.

“The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has made clear China’s position on the annual awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize. I want to add that China is a country ruled by law, no one should act against the law. It’s an undeniable fact that the Chinese people fully enjoy basic human rights and freedom to speech as safeguarded by the Chinese constitution and laws. We stand for using dialogue and mutual respect to address differences on human rights issues, but oppose any other countries’ meddling in China’s internal affairs with any excuses.”

The choice of Liu could cause quite a few diplomatic issues. The New York Times reported earlier that “a senior Chinese official had warned the Norwegian committee’s secretary that giving the prize to Mr. Liu would adversely affect relations between the two countries.”