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Is Liu Xiaobo the right choice for the Nobel Peace Prize?

10:44 UK time, Friday, 8 October 2010

Chinese dissident and human rights activists Liu Xiaobo has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010. Is he a worthy winner?

Prior to the announcement, China had warned the Nobel Peace Prize committee not to award the prize to well-known dissident, saying giving him the prize would be against Nobel principles. Mr Liu is serving an 11 year prison sentence for calling for democracy and respect for human rights in China.

Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland said Mr Liu was "the foremost symbol of the wide-ranging struggle for human rights in China". But he admitted that the choice would be controversial.

Who do you think should have won the award? Was the Nobel Committee right to award the prize to Liu Xiaobo? How does the Nobel Peace Prize contribute to world peace?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

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Comments

Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    Yes, its a number one wind up for the Chinese government.

  • Comment number 2.

    Next, there will of course be the "most unfavourable" language and inplied threats from China, showing its TRUE colours.

  • Comment number 3.

    Another pointless award.

  • Comment number 4.

    Maybe after his release from prison Mr Liu could come to the UK and demonstrate and demand democracy, which in UK is very pretentious and biased solely to empower the major political partys.

    True democracy is Proportional representation, one person ONE vote that ACTUALLY counts.

  • Comment number 5.

    A superb choice.

    I think this whole thing is underlined by the Chinese government warning that him winning would have bad consequences for relationships with the Norwegian government.

    The Chinese government appears totally incapable of understanding that an institution in a country can be truly independent, and that the government of that country have no sway over the decision.

    While they fail to understand what genuine freedom is, to grasp that fundamental truth, then there will always be a need for people like Liu Xiaobo.

  • Comment number 6.

    The Nobel Peace Prize is politically motivated or following fashion: eg.to approve of a new shift in American Foreign policy (President Obama) or running out of suitable candidates(MARTTI AHTISAARI.

  • Comment number 7.

    The question should be "Do we care"

    Must be POETS day, hence the silly question!

  • Comment number 8.

    How can anyone take the Nobel prize seriously when Obama has won it? Tom Lehrer said he stopped writing satire when Henry Kissinger won because the truth was satirical enough. The Nobel prize is like the Oscars - utterly meaningless.

  • Comment number 9.

    I was bewildered at US president Obama's choice last time round - I hope this guy hasn't achieved fame through utopian dreams and dare I say it - "media hype"...?

  • Comment number 10.

    Nobel peace prizes are handed out mostly on political grounds.

  • Comment number 11.

    2. At 11:13am on 08 Oct 2010, you wrote:
    Next, there will of course be the "most unfavourable" language and inplied threats from China, showing its TRUE colours.

    Maybe Cyndi Lauper could write/sing a song about it!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Is Liu Xiaobo the right choice for the Nobel Peace Prize?

    He's obviously an outstandingly brave man, but anybody trying to impprove human rights in China is onto a loser from the start.


    The social and cultural history of China is utterly different from anything in the West.

    The liberty of the individual has never been a priority in Chinese society and the one moment of 'people power' which manifested under the Chairman Mao quickly revealed itself as the old imperial elites being replaced by new communist party elites - the welfare of the common man was real concern.

    China has never had its Magna Carta or Bill of Rihts moment and I'm not sure they ever will.

    I do know that the Chinese government doesn't give a hoot how we do things in the West and absolutely nothing we do do will change that or how they treat their people.

  • Comment number 14.

    Excellent choice.

    That it will offend China is strongly favours this choice.
    Those with obnoxious, unjust and immoral beliefs, laws and behaviour should be taken seriously and offended as they deserve to be.

  • Comment number 15.

    Anyone is better than that inconvenient Al Gore.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hypocrisy.
    China is progressing on the way it can, while we are regressing.
    Hopefully no childish revenge will follow this "smart and brave" move of the committee...

  • Comment number 17.

    Yes. A far better choice than last years anyway. Its good to see they are not going for the safe option and aren't afraid to stir up a little controversy.

    Morgan Tsvangirai would have been a good choice as well in my opinion.

  • Comment number 18.

    Free ourselves first to be able to help (and not just invade for profit) others...

  • Comment number 19.

    First Obama, now Liu. The Nobel Prize is a joke. Who care?

  • Comment number 20.

    Seems strange to award a peace price dedicated to a man (Alfred Nobel) who was a major arms manufacturer and who’s products were used in 2 world wars and other wars to kill millions of people, but then again it’s a strange old world.

  • Comment number 21.

    Is he right? But he's got it, so why ask?

  • Comment number 22.

    It may well embarrass China, but it won't make them change their ways.
    Certainly he is more worthy than last years winner.

  • Comment number 23.

    Yes infact Liu xiaobo is the best choice.His struggle and suffering is genuine.

    Though chinese people are extremely peace loving people and chinese government is doing very good job in china I fail to understand why China is more in company and friendship of failed and rogue states.

    If China has to lead the world ,chinese government needs to learn to be more tolerant/acceptable and democratic and stop being leader of failed/rogue states.

  • Comment number 24.

    "China's political reform should be gradual, peaceful, orderly and controllable and should be interactive, from above to below and from below to above. This way causes the least cost and leads to the most effective result. I know the basic principles of political change, that orderly and controllable social change is better than one which is chaotic and out of control. The order of a bad government is better than the chaos of anarchy. So I oppose systems of government that are dictatorships or monopolies. This is not 'inciting subversion of state power'. Opposition is not equivalent to subversion."

    – Liu Xiaobo, Guilty of 'crime of speaking', February 9, 2010

  • Comment number 25.

    Mr Liu stood up and asked for change in a society that needs to change. My wife is from Liaoning (where Mr Liu is in prison) and I visit there regularly with her. I am always told to be careful what I say, in case anyone is listening. This is in 2010. It is not just paranoia. People live everyday wanting change but not daring to say so. People like Mr Liu are essential to the hopes of so many others.

  • Comment number 26.

    Yes, it's a good choice, much better than last year!
    And let's not confuse China with Myamar: there are very bright minds at the top posts in the Chinese governament and I am sure that they will want to show the rest of the world that they are better than anyone thinks!
    I really wish we will see Mr Liu Xiaobo in Oslo soon :)

  • Comment number 27.

    Nobel Peace Prize 2010 for a Chinese dissident. Good stuff. Perhaps this will be a favourable start for other 'dissidents' seeking fairness and humanity under other regimes/governments globally?

    This must be a 'double-edged' sword for the Chinese government who have been forging enormous 'SOFT' power via it's industrialisation and GDP surplus via huge exports for the last 15yrs at least?

    Furthermore, the Chinese Government continue to welcome ALL Nations to have their goods produced in their country at 'lower financial cost = higher shareholder returns'.

    Personally, I don't have the knowledge to know what goes on inside Chinese politics. But, what must be acknowledged, is that NO country can have it ALL their own way, all of the time and in isolation too?

    The caveat I would make, however, is that there is no place for extremists of any ilk or persuasion, in ANY country - because it's always ordinary people, especially women and children, who suffer from the power games of egotistical fools, invariably manipulated by criminals with a fake facade?

  • Comment number 28.

    China won't be intimidated by our "Western standards and expectation" luckily. As that government understands the Western way much deeper than we do the Eastern, we have no much right to give precious advices how to control that 1,35B empire. The driver seats are just not interchangeable.

  • Comment number 29.

    12. At 11:26am on 08 Oct 2010, MellorSJ wrote:
    Who gives a flying?


    Perhaps somebody that actually posted a comment ? Obviously enough to get you into the cockpit :-)

  • Comment number 30.

    19. At 11:47am on 08 Oct 2010, Sirius wrote:
    First Obama, now Liu. The Nobel Prize is a joke. Who care?

    -----

    Another example of the rising tide of nihilism on HYs.

    Just about every topic recently has been greeted with one or more 'who cares' or 'not interested' comments.

    Perhaps the BBC should look at tailoring future HYSs to specific members.

    eg. 'Sirius is concerned that his bin-men make too much noise on collection day mornings. Do you think he sould get ear plugs? Should he report them to the council? What would you do in a similar situation?'

  • Comment number 31.

    Oh, is this nobel peace prize? According to its record, it should be named as 'The politics prize of U.S.A.'

  • Comment number 32.

    I personally couldn't say whether Liu Xiaobo is a good choice or not. I don't know much about him, possibly because he is improsoned in China.
    I am sure the Chineese government has its views, but these views should in no way inform the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, who are not consulted when China awards its prizes.
    Personally, I took much more offense at the widespread reporting, as news, of the criticism of the award to Professor Robert Edwards, the IVF pioneer.
    Monsignor Carrasco, the Vatican's spokesman on bio-ethics, we are told, was speaking to Italy's Ansa news agency "in a personal capacity" when he said the award was "completely out of order".
    In my opinion the Vatican was trying to put pressure on the Nobel Prize committee without making an official statement of condemning the award. The reason they didn't have the courage to make an official statement is because the view they were expressing is a minority view even amongst Catholics.

  • Comment number 33.

    Excellent choice!

  • Comment number 34.

    Never heard of him, but it can't be any worse then the last winner who didn't actually do anything, yet the Nobel committee awarded it to him. They also awarded it to Yasser Arafat which is also a ridiculous choice. So essentially the Nobel committee just make a mockery of the awards.

  • Comment number 35.

    It does not matter whether the Nobel Peace Prize is considered relevant or not. It does not matter whether the award occasionally goes to someone many consider not [yet] worth of it. What matters is that once awarded, it invariably becomes news - sometimes sparks controversy, but always generates discussion, and draws attention to the recipient. In the case of this year's winner, Liu Xiaobo, that attention is marvelous, because it brings to the headlines the many issues of human rights existing in China right now. No matter how irrelevant people consider the prize itself, the fact is that the attention it draws will be hugely embarrassing to the Chinese government, and this can only be a good thing.

  • Comment number 36.

    While some winners of the various Nobel Prizes have tarnished that particular currency, there are others who stand tall in their field as worthy winners. I would count Liu Xiaobo along with others like Nelson Mandela, who, despite being told they were onto a loser from the start, started a ripple that eventually became an unstoppable wave.

    Imagine how people felt when Ghandi first started talking about freeing India. They must have though him mad. And yet he achieved his goal. This man's a good choice and, although this won't change anything today, or even tomorrow, there are many other tomorrows after that where our choices can make a better world.

  • Comment number 37.

    Perhaps the question should be, is there any point in the Nobel prizes and what are they worth.

  • Comment number 38.

    Perhaps the committee could consider creating a new prize for those who fight for human rights. There are certainly many people who would qualify.

    I fail to understand why they continue to give the peace prize to people who do not promote peace. Obama is still conducting two wars. The Chinese man honored has been fighting for something noble, but not for peace.

    Thich Nhat Hanh has done more than any other human alive to promote peace. In fact that's all he does. He has devoted his life to promoting peace, and if they were to honor him next year, they would draw attention to his efforts, and this would further the cause of peace greatly.

    Please consider him next year.

  • Comment number 39.

    Here's an example of a person who truly deserves the Peace Prize - someone who has put his life on the line in pursuit of basic rights that the majority (if not all) posters on this forum have and take for granted.Its hard to honestly think of a cause that is more deserving of this award.

    Pity that the award is tainted by being given often to undeserving politicians, bureaucrats and even outright warmongers! They have today made it the equivalent to if the Nobel prize for Medicine were given intermittently to homeopaths or the Physics prize to Feng Shui practitioners.

    Its also interesting (and still a question in my mind at least) whether the Nobel Peace Prize is an award for work done or merely a political incentive - I hope its the former in most cases at least. The article quotes the deputy director of Asia-Pac Amnesty as saying that "this award can only make a real difference if...." - Is the purpose of this award to merely serve as a political statement? If "effect" is what you're going for, honestly why not just give it to the head of the Chinese government or to the Ayatollah? Tyrants though they may be, they hold the most power, logically can make the most difference and getting the Nobel Peace prize may please them so much, they might actually deign to give their oppressed people some more rights.

  • Comment number 40.

    Nobel peace prize has now become a controversial new grabber than anything else it seems.Even last year winner Obama was not really deserving the award. If there is no one deserving just dont give it.

    Whats happening now is for the sake of having the award every year,its given to someone and this just sparks controversy.

  • Comment number 41.

    The best choice! Thanks god that there are still up there the Norwegians to remind the West and the world that human rights , democracy, are not just empty worlds ready to be scarified in the name of large commercial interests and big business.

  • Comment number 42.

    This is a rather silly business. Is this Chinese dissident really the person that has done the most to promote peace in the world? Really? He promotes democracy and civil liberties, not peace.

    The Norwegians have sullied their good name with this prize for many years, giving credence to political statements over peaceful conduct.

    China may well be wrong to imprison this dissident, but no more so than the Nobel committee is in awarding him a prize for their own political ends.

  • Comment number 43.

    I think the nobel peace prize should have gone to George Galloway. He campaigned
    hard against the war in Iraq against a very hostile media

    We now know that many of the things he was saying was true!

  • Comment number 44.

    Liu Xiaobo wins the Peace Prize and China threatens Norway.
    Perhaps our industrialists ought to take note of this when exporting our jobs to a country with a smiling veneer of civilisation but whose government is as hard line totalitarian as ever.

  • Comment number 45.

    While I would question the worth of the Nobel prize these days, anything that puts a bee in the bonnet of China's government is ok with me!

  • Comment number 46.

    Fantastic. What a wonderful choice.The guy is a credit to China and they should be proud of him and if they cannot find it in their hearts to do that then the free world must do it for them.

  • Comment number 47.

    A much better choice than Obama.

    At least this guy seems to have actually done something!

  • Comment number 48.

    Talking about mindless police states certainly not China comes into one's mind first. Hopefully all China "experts" have visited the place at least once in their lifetime.

  • Comment number 49.

    China's democracy should be like that of the West...controlled by big media companies.

    Its Human Rights should be like that of the West....locking people up without charge or trial (Guantanamo Bay), secret rendition flights (for deniable torture)and dropping bombs on civilians.

    I can't see the West has any right to criticise China. Perhaps it's just fear of China's economic success.

  • Comment number 50.

    Gandhi brought peaceful independant for India;

    Mandela freed South Africa with no violence;

    What did Mr. Liu bring to China? Majority of normal Chinese people don't even endorse his ideas/comments.

    I understand many people cheer for this award. They certainly have their right to believe or not to believe, just don't tell me their reaction is based on love of Chinese people or China as a nation.

  • Comment number 51.

    MellorSJ wrote: Who gives a flying?

    ...about your inability to string together a coherent sentence, or offer a meaningful viewpoint? Probably no one...

  • Comment number 52.

    It is another evidence of bad taste of Nobel Peace Prize following last one. Strangely, when most people become less serious to Nobel Peace Prize, BBC still put it on headline news. Is BBC truely neutral or bias?

  • Comment number 53.

    This is a great news for Hong Kong and Chinese people who may celebrate the second Nobel Prize in two years. It may give a great boost for all the prodemocracy activists there. It may also inspire some soul searching among the other sections of the intellectual, academic, and political elite, which got a clear signal that collaborating with the communist party has inevitable moral costs.

  • Comment number 54.

    Call_Me_Col wrote: The question should be "Do we care"

    Do we care? About peace? About championing human rights and democracy? About China's oppression? Are all these trivial issues to people like you?

    How about seriously thinking about the issues before mindlessly tapping away on your keyboard in future?

  • Comment number 55.

    And of course one should then ask oneself. Is it still possible to conduct business as usual with a country who keeps in prison its nobel-peace price?

  • Comment number 56.

    it can't be any worse then the last winner.

  • Comment number 57.

    Of course the Nobel Peace Prize award is the right choice. Far too many people worldwide are concerned with looking after their own interests and not caring who else is killed, impoverished or marginalised in the process. The worldwide media have stirred the public up into a frenzy of war-fever, with numerous organisations springing up that applaud legalised and illegal violence. No person who is paid to or enlisted to carry a gun and who chooses to kill another human being with it is a hero - and no one country should ever consider itself more important than any others. If government officials cannot conduct themselves as unprejudiced, reasoned and peaceful individuals, they should immediately stand down.

  • Comment number 58.

    Confucius say an oppressive government is more to be feared than a man-eating tiger.

    So China should take it easy.

    They should now reclaim Mr Liu, release him and allow him to collect the prize and bring it back home.

    I believe they don't have many Nobel prize winners (not that the number of Nobel prize winners is an indication of anything except corruption in the nomination and award distribution process in Sweden and Norway) so why not celebrate the one they got today.

  • Comment number 59.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 60.

    What gives Norwegians the right to look down and pick Nobel prize winners? Are they somehow more enlightened than the rest of the world's citizens?

  • Comment number 61.

    What is democracy really? Is it Capitalism at the point of a gun? Is there even a truly democratic country on planet earth? Let's not misconstrue democracy and human rights when people have been tortured by the U.S for their beliefs. This is the real issue that should be discussed.

  • Comment number 62.

    Perfect choice, Cant get better than This. Chinese Government's record on very basic human rights is pathetic. It is a Maoist, Stalinist government which must be dismantled.

  • Comment number 63.

    No, but then the whole principle of the Nobels seem to have been forgotten nowadays.

    There are probably hundreds of thousands of people who have done more for world (or national) peace who would never be considered and where the cash element of the prize could make a real difference. But they aren't going to create publicity.

    Its a bit like the booker prize, out of touch and pointless at the moment.

  • Comment number 64.

    For those of you are saying we shouldn't force democracy on China...

    This man is one of the few brave Chinese to stand up for what they believe in in the face of certain imprisonment despite doing nothing wrong. We should recognise his bravery and commend him for raising such important questions. His voice gives a platform for other Chinese to stand on too and voice there opinion if they so wish. It's not about forcing change, it's about offering change. Rejecting that is accepting totalitarian reign.

    Without these people round the world who are willing to speak up we'd have nothing. Just consider the UK - racism would still be rife and acceptable, women still wouldn't be able to vote and no one would know who David Cameron or Ed Milliband are.

  • Comment number 65.

    "49. At 12:23pm on 08 Oct 2010, BaldLea wrote:
    China's democracy should be like that of the West...controlled by big media companies.
    Its Human Rights should be like that of the West....locking people up without charge or trial (Guantanamo Bay), secret rendition flights (for deniable torture)and dropping bombs on civilians..."

    ...and the West does that all in entire satisfaction with itself...


  • Comment number 66.

    An inspired choice! Congratulations to the Nobel Peace Prize committee for standing up to China's threats. And Congratulations to Liu Xiaobo.

  • Comment number 67.

    Just the other week there was news of a Chinese tycoon who helped the disadvanatge in charitable cause all his life and decide to leave all his money to the poor when he dies. If he was to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize I would have no objectiona do it will give the Norwegian award back some of it credibility it has lost recently.
    To be honest I have never heard of this Liu Xiaobo before. So what did this guy do? he wasnt the only one who protested at Tiananmen in 1989 and I doubt he was the only one who demanded western style multi party democracy in China. When Dalai Lama who for many years a recipent of CIA money for terrorism activities in China finally gave up the donation in 1989 and recieve the Nobel award the image of the Peace Prize became political and little to do with peace. When Obama recieved the prize last year all credibility went with it. Now it is nothing more than Western tokenism, a political yardstick use to beat China with.

  • Comment number 68.

    I fear that the Nobel Committee might just have written Liu's death warrant. The Chinese government cannot now risk ever releasing him, and it might be a little more convenient to have him "disappear".

  • Comment number 69.

    What has this guy got to do with "peace"? If there was a Nobel prize for "Politcal Aggitation" or "Democracy Campaigner" he'd probably be a good choice, but what, pray, has he done for peace?

    I can't actually think of a candidate for peace prize of the top of my head!

  • Comment number 70.

    @YinYang

    Of course they don't, it's just a (not very well hidden) agenda to gradually get the Chinese government to turn into a democracy. The West know that, as we have seen with India, a large Asian country that is a democracy will be even more corrupt, easy to penetrate with their influence (election rigging etc - apparently all election results Western countries disagree with are rigged, whilst the recent Afghan one wasn't because they got their man in) - and more importantly inefficient. This will mean China will be less effective, less quick to react to outside conditions, thus hindering their development - to the West's advantage. India should be a superpower by now, but democracy has done nothing but hinder them.

  • Comment number 71.

    "Gandhi brought peaceful independant for India"

    Not on his own he didn't, and he didn't do it straightaway either.

    "Mandela freed South Africa with no violence"

    Not on his own he didn't, and he didn't do it straightaway either.


    "What did Mr. Liu bring to China?"

    Charter 08.

    What did you bring to this discussion?


    "Majority of normal Chinese people don't even endorse his ideas/comments."

    Are you sure about that? Just because someone is too afraid to speak out doesn't mean they don't endorse political ideals opposed to the state. The Chinese government is well known for silencing views opposed to its own. This is not acceptable behaviour: Governments should be afraid of their people.

  • Comment number 72.

    Pity that Tony Blair didn't get it.

    We could all have had a good laugh to scorn.

  • Comment number 73.

    Nobel certainly had to regain some credibility after awarding it to Obama last time. Not that I have anything against Obama but then neither did he have any claim on the Nobel prize.

    I imagine that mistake has influenced this more radical decision and demonstrated the independance of the award to some extent. It does however leave us with the stunning western hypocrisy where China is concerned. We impose sanctions on Iran yet we trade with China to the extent where our companies even outsource our jobs there. We fret about the economic threat they pose yet we encourage the growth of that threat. We invite their leaders here as guests and then arrest our own people who legally protest against such visits.

    This award stands in its own little away against that sad policy of constant appeasement and so it is to be welcomed.

  • Comment number 74.

    Perhaps the BBC should ask in HYS forum "Is the Nobel Peace Prize still relevent?" I know what the answer is. When people have blood on their hands recieved such an award what does that tells you about those who do not?

  • Comment number 75.

    I am from Hong Kong where I have a certain extent of freedoom of speech,compared with the counterparts in the mainland.
    Without a doubt,Liu is the right person to gain the prize.His long time effort is proven by this prize.I admire him owing to his braveness.Surely,the committee do the great job.I had been worried that Liu may not be awarded due to the strong reaction taken by the China government to the committee.Now that the committee shows us that their decisions are totally independent of political pressure.I am proud of them.
    Last,I wish this prize can bring the hope to all chinese dissidents that thier persistency is right.And I hope China government can release Liu unconditionally and immediately.Let Liu goes to Norway to get the prize.

  • Comment number 76.

    Truly believing something is right because it irritates your enemies is moronic. It's equivalent to the "enemy of my enemy is my friend", which is the cause of countless sufferings caused by Western support during the Cold War for any enemy of the Soviets. Unfortunately, we still don't seem to have abandoned this mindset. Automatically, we rush to support anyone who opposes governments we don't approve of. The world over, we glorify revolutionaries, activists, fighters, disgruntled expatriates - everyone, in fact, except the huge majority of the actual people of the country. When these people respond angrily at our interference and lack of respect, we dismiss them as ignorant and brainwashed by the state, and instead insist that these people are all secretly crying out for liberation and human rights. This is folly. Visit a country like China. It is far from perfect, but the people care far more about economic development than some abstract Western conception of rights.

  • Comment number 77.

    Tell me, has Osama Ben Laden been considered yet...?

  • Comment number 78.

    No, I was, and still am, the right choice for the prize winner.

    Don't you know who I am?

    Do you know who Liu Xiaobo is? I do. He is in prision for breaking the law and being a criminal. Not my law, not the UK law, but Chinese law.

  • Comment number 79.

    Its all okay with me, as long as its not Obama. But I still don't know what this guy did to earn it. China will probably kill him now too.

  • Comment number 80.

    Liu Xiaobo is one of many thousands of Chinese citizens who have been persecuted by the state for their political views. I support this man's campaign for political change, but I am worried that the awarding of the Noble Peace Prize is often being used for making political statements rather than a celebration of great achievement.

  • Comment number 81.

    Who?

  • Comment number 82.

    By giving this year's Nobel peace prize, the committee has reflected the view of the democratic world that China should improve human rights and freedom of speech in the country. Its not acknowledging and recognizing contribution of an individual of the cause but also an assertion that the democratic world is behind that cause. This is also recognition and reassertion that human right situation in China has not improved despite its openness towards domestic economic development that thrives on the rest of the world. When China is booming in economics and common person of the country are becoming wealthier they need more rights of life to live in China. However, these awards reflect opinions of the larger world and push China to introspect and find solution instead of imposing any favorite social idea.

    Sushil Kumar

  • Comment number 83.

    4. At 11:16am on 08 Oct 2010, MrWonderfulReality wrote:
    Maybe after his release from prison Mr Liu could come to the UK and demonstrate and demand democracy, which in UK is very pretentious and biased solely to empower the major political partys.

    True democracy is Proportional representation, one person ONE vote that ACTUALLY counts.

    -----------------------------

    The problem with PR is that you have no local representation though, at least with the current system you are voting for your local MP who should stand for issues relevant to the area in which he is elected.

    PR whilst giving a more balanced representation of the country as a whole it doesn't voters have little or no control over who actually represents them.

    You also have the situation where like this government you have to have colitions. Whilst some would say that's not a bad thing, it does give more power to smaller parties as "king makers" who can swing the balance of power between rival parties as they see fit.

    All in all there is no completely fair system of voting, but the system we have at the moment is at least as unfair as all the other systems.

  • Comment number 84.

    I have to admidt surprise usally the Nobel Prize is given to:

    People who have done nothing_ Obama
    people who give tacist support to terrorsim: El Baredi, annan and Carter
    Eco hypocrites like Carter

    I figured they would give it to Julian Sands, the Turkish hate flotilla or robert Mugabe

  • Comment number 85.

    When will I get my chance? After all they gave it to Obama and he didn't do squat for it.

  • Comment number 86.

    Excellent choice and a worthy winner, as to were Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan in '76. Who cares if it upsets China/Norway relations, China's politicians shouldn't be so paranoid and get a life.

  • Comment number 87.

    Not many people know this but back in the mid 1980s Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping was offered the Nobel Peace Prize for his market reform in China and fostering ties with Washington against USSR. Deng refuse the nomination because it was an embarrassment to him and thought better, that it was the West's idea to influence nations. How right he was. A few years later Deng put down the Tiananmen protest.
    I want to know are there anybody who opposes Western countries ever recieved a peace prize?

  • Comment number 88.

    Well why not? After all, they gave the Nobel Prize to Obama who promptly sent more American troops to their death as well as innocent civilians in Afghanistan etc.

    The Nobel Prize - since being awarded to Obama, is now worthless.

  • Comment number 89.

    Globalisation : the export of jobs in the West to bolster the amoral rich is an ongoing disaster for us, but also for China. It means that the totalitarian PRC can more easily stifle dissent by pointing to economic success, instead of implementing democracy and human rights.

  • Comment number 90.

    Yes. The west should stand up to china's human rights abuses, instead of fighting for lucrative business deals.

  • Comment number 91.

    Like Barack Obama, lasts year's Peace Laureate, Liu Xiaobo hasn't actually achieved anything very much, except publicity in the western media.
    Human rights in the People's Republic of China have actually come a long way since the days of Chairman Mao, and it's a major feat of governance to keep order in a land of 1.3 billion ethnically-diverse people, spread over 3 million square miles.
    Does the Nobel Committee expect China to conduct its internal affairs in accordance with the neat, bland, social model of Norway, with its 5 million orderly citizens?

  • Comment number 92.

    Yet another political statement by the nobel committee by using peace prize as a tool to encourage democratic dissidence.

  • Comment number 93.

    20. At 11:47am on 08 Oct 2010, Alan Baker wrote:

    Seems strange to award a peace price dedicated to a man (Alfred Nobel) who was a major arms manufacturer and who’s products were used in 2 world wars and other wars to kill millions of people, but then again it’s a strange old world.

    Nobel instigated the prize himself, as he felt so guilty.

  • Comment number 94.

    "Mr Liu is serving an 11 year prison sentence for calling for democracy and respect for human rights in China."

    I thought he was in jail for "inciting subversion of state power through methods such as spreading rumours and slander" at least that's what the charge was. Whilst I've no doubt his long term promotion of democracy and human rights made him a target he wasn't jailed for simply calling for it. Anyway to the actual question:

    Who do you think should have won the award?
    There isn't an obvious candidate and it would be wrong to judge worth between outstanding people.I think someone like Muttiah Muralitharan (the former Sri-Lankan cricketer) has helped more people since the devastating Tsunami and since the end of the Sri-Lankan civil war. I've noticed though that the Nobel prize has become less about peace and humanitarianism and more about politics.

    Was the Nobel Committee right to award the prize to Liu Xiaobo?
    If they determined he was the best candidate then of course. If they did it solely as a political snub to China then no.

    How does the Nobel Peace Prize contribute to world peace?
    It's an afterthought and award after the event so it is irrelevent in terms of actually creating peace. It carries a prestige though that perhaps inspires recipients to stay peaceful.

  • Comment number 95.

    This award assumes democracy is preferable to other forms of administration - there is little evidence for that other than the subjective views of the majority and history shows they are rarely correct on any challenging subject – gods and demons, flat earths, centre of the universe, witch burning, labour governments etc.

    The most democratic nations are currently all in deep hock to one of the least democratic nations – China, so how can one say democracy has worked? Is it worth risking one’s life for as this dissident has done? Is it worth rewarding those who risk violence to impose a system that works less well that others perhaps?

  • Comment number 96.

    64. At 12:42pm on 08 Oct 2010, LoonyLiberal wrote:

    For those of you are saying we shouldn't force democracy on China...

    This man is one of the few brave Chinese to stand up for what they believe in in the face of certain imprisonment despite doing nothing wrong. We should recognise his bravery and commend him for raising such important questions. His voice gives a platform for other Chinese to stand on too and voice there opinion if they so wish. It's not about forcing change, it's about offering change. Rejecting that is accepting totalitarian reign.


    Look what happened when we tried to force democracy on Iraq and Afghanistan. Those countries are in a worse state and many people live in fear. Not such a good move, was it?

    Without these people round the world who are willing to speak up we'd have nothing. Just consider the UK - racism would still be rife and acceptable, women still wouldn't be able to vote and no one would know who David Cameron or Ed Milliband are.

    Racism is rife in the UK and institutionally acceptable. For example, there is a Black Police Association, Black Music Awards etc etc, these are racist, yet acceptable. Yet, if there was a white any of these, it would be deemed racist.

  • Comment number 97.

    84. At 12:58pm on 08 Oct 2010, MagicKirin wrote:
    I have to admidt surprise usally the Nobel Prize is given to:

    People who have done nothing_ Obama
    people who give tacist support to terrorsim: El Baredi, annan and Carter
    Eco hypocrites like Carter

    I figured they would give it to Julian Sands, the Turkish hate flotilla or robert Mugabe

    ----

    Blimey,

    First people honouring Desmond Tutu, now the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Does anything happen in this world that you don't consider to be a cover storey for an anti-Israel conspiracy?

  • Comment number 98.

    Don't know and I don't really care. What's the next silly question?

  • Comment number 99.

    The Nobel Peace Prize has long since become an agenda-driven travesty. Anyone who can take it or its crackpot nominating committee seriously after Obama won it for just being Obama is probably in rapt anticipation over who will be Time Magazine's Man of the Year. Oops, I mean person or something.

  • Comment number 100.

    Norway with its poisoned chalice of awarding the Nobel (never noble) "Peace" Prize... nicely set up by Sweden, Norway's former occupier and colonial master (still begrudging it an Arctic border very much)

 

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