BEIJING: A Chinese government spokesmen said jailed
dissident Hu Jia was a criminal undeserving of a Nobel Peace Prize, amplifying
Beijing's unhappiness at the possibility Hu could win the honour this year.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said countless other compatriots
deserved consideration for the prize, but not Hu Jia, a political activist and
Buddhist who has campaigned for AIDS patients, political democracy, Tibetan
self-determination and a clutch of other touchy subjects.
A Beijing court sentenced Hu to over three years' jail in April. Hu, in his
mid-30s, had already spent many months under house arrest with his wife and
Hu's jailing drew condemnation from Washington, across Europe and from human
rights advocates, and his energetic campaigning may yet win him the Nobel
honour, worth $1.4 million. He has climbed to the top spot with some online
Qin made it plain Beijing would be outraged if Hu is named in Oslo on
"Everyone knows what sort of person Hu Jia is. He is a criminal who because
he committed the crime of inciting subversion of state power, he was sentenced
to a prison term by Chinese judicial authorities according to the law," Qin told
a regular news conference.
"If the so-called prize is given to this kind of person, that would crude
meddling in China's domestic affairs, in its judicial independence and
sovereignty," he added.
(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by David Fox)