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China Continues Attack On Nobel Peace Prize Decision

Protesters demonstrate for Liu Xiaobo to be freed near the China Liason Office in Hong Kong on October 8.
China's government has continued its campaign against the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo.

The state-run "Global Times" condemned the decision by the Norwegian Nobel Committee as an arrogant and prejudicial move against China, saying the committee had "disgraced itself."

After the decision on October 8, the Chinese government summoned Norway's ambassador to Beijing in protest and denounced Liu as a "common criminal." The government added that the award could damage China's relations with Norway.

U.S. President Barack Obama, meanwhile, has called on China to release Liu from jail as soon as possible.

The statement from Obama, who won last year's peace prize, added that political reforms and human rights in China had not kept pace with the country's economic development.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters that Obama "obviously spoke of Mr. Liu as someone who sacrificed his freedom for his beliefs, who's been a spokesman for the advance of universal values through peace and nonviolent means."

As for the "broader implications" for U.S.-Chinese relations, Toner said the "broad, mature relationship" between the two countries "spans many issues: economic issues, trade and currency issues, as well as human rights issues. And we're able to talk candidly about human rights with China and disagree on human rights with China."

Liu was sentenced last December to 11 years in prison for subversion of the communist regime in connection with the 2008 release of "Charter 08," a document calling for reform in China.

compiled from agency reports