China urges Britain to boycott Nobel ceremony: London

5th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

China has urged Britain not to send diplomats to a ceremony next month in honour of Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, the Foreign Office said Friday, adding that it would not agree to the request.

The Times newspaper reported that the Chinese embassy in Oslo had sent letters to a number of foreign representatives urging them not to attend the ceremony for Liu, a jailed Chinese dissident.

"The Chinese have raised the issue with us," a Foreign Office spokeswoman in London confirmed.

"It is the normal practice of the British ambassador to Norway to attend the Nobel peace prize ceremony. The ambassador intends to attend this year."

The issue could cause a problem during British Prime Minister David Cameron's trip to China next week. He is leading a business delegation on November 9 and 10 on his first trip to the Asian country since taking power in May.

The Nobel committee's decision to grant the peace prize to Liu, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison last December for subversion after calling for sweeping political reform, has caused outrage in Beijing.

© 2010 AFP

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