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Chinese Human Rights Champion Wins Sakharov

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 24, 2008

The decision by the European Parliament to award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on Thursday to Hu Jia has clearly rankled those on the top rungs of the Communist Party in China. “We express strong dissatisfaction and stern opposition (to the award),” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a written statement in response to the award on Thursday evening, the official Chinese Xinhua News reported. Hu had been a front-runner for the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to former Finnish president Martti Ahtsaari. A champion of human rights in China, Hu continues to languish in Chinese prison. According to the New York Times , China had lobbied against Hu’s candidacy for the prize, resorting to the familiar refrain that it could seriously damage relations with the EU. That’s the standard mantra the Chinese Foreign Ministry resorts to whenever foreign governments show support for personae non gratae with Beijing. China made similar warnings last year to the U.S. lawmakers decided to award the another Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, the Dalai Lama, with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Twelve months have passed since then, and ties between Washington and Beijing don’t appear to have been materially affected at all.

Reader Comments

True or False

October 28, 2008 5:03 PM

Hu Jia is a joke even if communism government didn't put him in jail. If western countries really want to award those human right fighter, pick up a good one that at least is really contributing something to the society. Hu Jia is doing nothing but taking funding from CIA and NED then bashing the china government. Well maybe it is the contribution which western countries like to see. There are a lot of human right fighters who help those need help in china but definitely not this joker. Western countries just simply showed off again their stupidity and ignorance.


October 29, 2008 9:00 AM

True Or False - why even bother to comment in Newsweek at all? It is nothing but a propaganda machine.


October 31, 2008 10:12 AM

No... no, Frederik Balfour; you too can set up some forms of Prize of Honor under your own good name and may award to any anti China forces, in the flimsy pretext of peace, democracy and human right as long as that serve your China bashing purpose.

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