May 23, 2024

Press Freedom


China December 13, 2010

H.E. Hu Jintao, President
People’s Republic of China
Fax ( 512.5810

H.E. Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister
People’s Republic of China
Fax: ( 512.5810

Your Excellencies:

The Overseas Press Club of America wishes to object strenuously to your censoring coverage of the Nobel Peace Prize award to Chinese citizen, Liu Xiaobo.

We refer to reports that broadcast into China on CNN, the BBC and Norwegian network, NRK, have repeatedly been interrupted when news of the Nobel award is discussed. As the Nobel award ceremony took place on December 10 in Oslo, reports from China said CNN and the BBC were blacked out for an hour. Had viewers been allowed to watch, they would have seen Liu Xiaobo represented by an empty chair.

We are aware of the fact that China’s leadership objects to the prize, and boycotted the Oslo ceremony. We are also aware that Liu Xiaobo is serving an 11- year prison sentence for leading a pro-democracy campaign in China.

Be that as it may, Liu Xiaobo is the first Chinese citizen to receive the Nobel prize and he is a symbol to many in the world — and, we would suggest, to many within China itself — of great individual courage. As Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee, stated, the award “is a signal to China that it would be very important for China’s future to combine economic development with political reforms and support for those in China fighting for basic human rights.”

China is accepted in world councils as an emerging market nation of vast economic importance. Its leaders say you wish to move toward more open voting and the rule of law. If this is true, it may shock you to know that only countries regarded as extreme dictatorships such as Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Burma, have until now boycotted the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo. Yours is the first such boycott since 1991, when Burma locked up Aung San Su Kyi, who had recently won a national election.

We urge you to re-consider your press policy and give your citizens the rightful pride they deserve from seeing a courageous Chinese citizen honored and praised on the world stage.

Respectfully yours,

Robert Dowling
Jeremy Main
Freedom of the Press Committee


H.E. Zhou Wenzhong
Ambassador of P.R.O.C. to the U.S.A.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2300 Connnecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Fax: (202) 966.0631

Ambassador Zhang Yesui
Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations
350 East 35 Street
New York, N.Y. 10016
Fax: (212) 634.7628

H.E. Jon Huntsman
U.S. Ambassador to the P.R.O.C.
Embassy of he United States of America
No. 55 An Jia Lou Lu
100600 Beijing
Fax: ( 532.6929

China Daily
No. 15 Dongjie, Chaoyang District
Beijing 1000029
Fax: ( 84.88.36

Maria Otero
Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520