Pelosi Taking on Chinese at Nobel Ceremony

Sunday, 28 Nov 2010 10:27 AM

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Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be the highest-ranking American official at a ceremony for this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, The Hill reports, citing an Agence France-nancy,pelosi,chinese,nobel,waleseaPresse interview with a Nobel official. China has publicly warned nations away from the Dec. 10 gathering for Liu, a political reformist serving 11 years in prison. "The warning takes on particular significance in recent days as China's help is likely to be increasingly sought to rein in North Korea, which attacked a South Korean island this week," according to The Hill.

Russia, Cuba, Iraq, Kazakhstan and Morocco have reportedly bowed to Chinese pressure and declined invitations to Oslo next month. British Prime Minister David Cameron will be in China on Dec. 10 for a business event.

Pelosi praised Liu as "a courageous advocate for democracy and human rights in China" in October when he was announced as Nobel winner. Pelosi, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton all called for Liu's release at the time. But Nobel Institute director Geir Lundestad only mentioned Pelosi as having accepted an invitation. He has also said it's unlikely that any member of Liu's family in China will be able to make the trip, a development that has caused Nobel officials to wonder aloud whether they should even give out the prize this year.

Lech Walesa, who won the peace prize in 1983 for leading Poland's Solidarity movement against Communist rule, has offered to accept the prize on Liu's behalf.

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