OSLO Dec 10 China could face economic and
social crises if it fails to embrace full civil rights, with
consequences for the whole world, the Nobel Committee said in
prepared remarks for a ceremony awarding the Peace Prize to
Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
The awarding of the prize to Liu, serving an 11-year
sentence for subversion, has infuriated Beijing as the rising
Asian power becomes more assertive on the world stage. It has
attempted to use diplomatic pressure to discourage countries
from attending the ceremony in Oslo.
Norwegian Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said
Liu wanted to dedicate his Nobel to "the lost souls" of 1989
when troops crushed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.
Witnesses and rights groups said hundreds were killed.
"We can to a certain degree say that China, with its 1.3
billion people, is carrying mankind's fate on its shoulders,"
Jagland said in the prepared speech.
"If the country proves capable of developing a social market
economy with full civil rights, this will have a huge favourable
impact on the world. If not, there is a danger of social and
economic crisis arising... with consequences for all."
An empty chair at the ceremony symbolised Liu's
imprisonment. It was the first occasion that no representative
of a detained laureate had been allowed to the ceremony since
1935, when pacifist Carl von Ossietzky was jailed by Adolf
Hitler's Nazi regime.
Jagland called on China to release Liu and said Beijing's
reaction had showed the award was "necessary and appropriate".
In Liu's absence, Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann was due to
read out the laureate's speech from his court trial a year ago.
"I have no enemies and no hatred. None of the police who
monitored, arrested, and interrogated me, none of the
prosecutors who indicted me, and none of the judges who judged
me are my enemies," Liu told a Chinese court on Dec. 23, 2009.
"I, filled with optimism, look forward to the advent of a
future free China. For there is no force that can put an end to
the human quest for freedom, and China will in the end become a
nation ruled by law, where human rights reign supreme."
(Editing by Ralph Boulton)