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VOA: Different Nobel Prize Winners Are Treated Differently

Chinese media gave extensive coverage to the praise given to Mo Yan, the Chinese writer who won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature. Li Changchun, head of the Propaganda Department, sent a congratulatory letter to the Chinese Writers Association and stated that winning the prize demonstrated “the consistent improvement of China’s national power as well as its worldwide influence.”

However, Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Gao Xinjian, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature, were both treated in a completely different manner; Chinese media criticized them very harshly. Liu was labeled a "criminal" and is still imprisoned in China. The Chinese media launched scathing attacks against Liu and the Nobel Peace committee. Following Gao Xinjian’s receipt of the award, Beijing attacked him as well. The media stated that Gao had “ulterior motives” and “seriously hurt the Chinese’ people’s feelings.” The head of the Chinese Writers Association at the time told Xinhua that “the Nobel Prise for Literature carries political motives and has lost its authority.” Gao currently resides in France.

Source: Voice of America, October 12, 2012