The world is beginning to learn a Chinese dissident wins the Nobel Peace Prize, but in China it is a national secret. The scholar, Liu Xiaobo, has won for "his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." says the award, but today he sits in a prison cell at Jinzhou Prison in Liaoning province. The China government has blocked the name Liu Xiaobo from all cellular text messages and blacked out all media reports of the prize award. His wife, Liu Xia, has been confined to her apartment by the police surrounding it and has not been allowed to speak to anyone. However, she managed to get a message out saying she was happy and planned to deliver the news to Liu in person at the prison soon.Â
The Nobel Committee chairman, Thorbjoern Jagland announced the Chinese dissidents prize, he commented China has become a big power in economic terms as well as political terms, and it is normal that big powers should be under criticism." The Chinese governmentâ€™s official response referred to Liu Xiaobo as a criminal saying â€œTo give the Peace Prize to such a person is completely contrary to the purpose of the award and a blasphemy of the Peace Prize.â€ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu posted a message on the web implying problems would now exist between Norway and China.Â
According to a story released by Time appearing on Yahoo News, Liu Xiaobo, a literary critic, helped lead antigovernment protests in Beijing. He has been jailed many times for his beliefs along with several bouts of house arrest. Until now, no one living in mainland China has ever received a Nobel Prize. Frank Yang, Lee Tsung-Dao, Gao Xingjian, Charles K. Kao and The Dalai Lama all received the award after they left China.Â
As a Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo was sentenced last Christmas day for "inciting subversion of state power." Liu had written a 4,000 page pro-democracy manifesto called Charter 08 and a series of essays questioning the rule of the Chinese Communist Party. Prior to posting Charter 08, it was signed by 303 Chinese intellectuals, after the postings thousands more signed from China and around the world. These were used as evidence of his crime.Â
In 1989, Liu Xiaobo was in the United States as a visiting scholar at Columbia University. It was then, Liu saw the student demonstrations at Â Tiananmen Square on TV and decided to fly back to Beijing to become a leading advocate for democracy and be branded a â€œChinese dissidentâ€. Congratulations, Liu Xiaobo, it is a very small thing, the Nobel Prize, compared to the great sacrifice you have made for justice and human decency!