100 countries stay away from Nobel ceremony, says Chinese media

100 countries stay away from Nobel ceremony, says Chinese media

"Many stay away from ceremony. 100-plus nations, organisation back Beijing's peace prize stance," the official China Daily reported today without identifying nations either attended or boycotted the event.

Pakistan, Russia were among the 15 countries which kept away from the ceremony yesterday in view of the strong call made by China to all governments to boycott the ceremony, which falls on the World Human Rights Day.

India was among 46 nations, including the US, the UK and France which attended the ceremony to honour 55-year-old Liu, who has long been an outspoken opponent of the Chinese leadership.

In a candid editorial titled "Ignoble ignorance", the daily, however, said, "True, the state of human rights here is not as good as we want it to be, but it is not as bad as those on the Norwegian Nobel Committee think. We aspire for development and hate corruption.

"We cry out against abusive officials. We readily blame those problems on the Party and the government. But, by and large, we share the faith that we can sort all our problems ourselves."

"Outside advice is fine and outside cooperation is welcome. That is why China has engaged in human rights dialogues with a number of other countries. But condescending Western interference is not. Given what the country has been through in modern history, outside pressure will only enhance national cohesion here," the report said.

About the "other countries" present in the ceremony, it said "although the presence or absence of countries at the Oslo event may not suffice to draw a clear line between friends and foes, as some anticipate, it may be a useful reference for fine-tuning the country's diplomatic efforts."

Liu, the writer and former university professor was at the forefront of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. He was jailed in December 2009 for 11 years on subversion charges after co-authoring "Charter 08", a manifesto that spread quickly on the internet calling for political reform and greater rights in China.