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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

China warns Norway against peace Nobel for dissident

September 30, 2010

September 28, 2010

Oslo, Norway, September 28 - The head of the
Norwegian Nobel Institute said on Monday that a
senior Chinese official told him that awarding
the peace prize to a Chinese dissident would
affect relations between Oslo and Beijing.

Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad's
comments came after Czech dissident Vaclav Havel
called on the Nobel Peace Committee to award the
prize to jailed Chinese human rights campaigner Liu Xiaobo.

Lundestad, who organises the meetings of the
secretive five-member Nobel Peace Prize
Committee, said China's Deputy Foreign Minister
Fu Ying met him during a visit to Oslo this summer to deliver the message.

"(Such a decision) would pull the wrong strings
in relations between Norway and China, it would
be seen as an unfriendly act," Lundestad told
Norwegian news agency NTB, repeating Fu's
comments during their meeting at the Chinese embassy in Oslo.

Lundestad added that "China has come with
warnings before, but they have no influence on the committee's work."

China's embassy in Oslo was not available for comment.

"We ask the Nobel committee to honour Liu
Xiaobo's more than two decades of unflinching and
peaceful advocacy for reform," said a letter
co-authored by Havel, which was published by the
International Herald Tribune last week.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama
won the Peace Prize in 1989, the year of the
Tiananmen Square crackdown by Chinese authorities on protesters.

China and Norway are now engaged in talks over a
bilateral trade deal -- which some say could
serve as a blueprint for an agreement between the
Asian superpower and the European Union.

Energy-rich Norway is also keen to export its
offshore exploration knowhow to China, with
Norway's national oil and gas champion Statoil
announcing last month that it aimed to look for shale gas in China.

Norway's Nobel committee is set to announce the
winner of this year's peace prize in Oslo on Oct.
8, capping a week of prizes given in Stockholm in
the name of 19th century Swedish dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.
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