Chinese pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo, a former literature professor, presently in detention, won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Liu for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The … Committee has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace.”
The prize puts China’s human rights in the spotlight at a time Beijing has sought to play a bigger role on the global stage. Liu was jailed for 11 years from last December for subversion of state power, a year after his detention as lead author of Charter 08, a manifesto issued by Chinese intellectuals and activists calling for free speech and multi-party elections.