China propaganda chief congratulates Nobel winner Mo Yan
Friday 12 October 2012
The Chinese Communist Party's propaganda chief issued congratulations today to Mo Yan, the first Chinese citizen to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, saying the award shows the country's rising influence.
Propaganda chief Li Changchun wrote a letter to the China Writers Association saying the accolade "reflects the prosperity and progress of Chinese literature, as well as the increasing influence of China," the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
News of Mo's historic win was plastered across newspaper front pages Friday, in stark contrast to the response two years ago when imprisoned pro-democracy writer Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Chinese government rejected that honour and said it was a desecration of the Nobel tradition.
Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 for co-authoring a bold call for ending single-party rule and enacting democratic reforms titled Charter 08.
Mo is both a party member and vice president of the writers association, and human rights activists inside and outside China question whether his ties to the authorities have comprised his artistic and intellectual independence. China's authorities forbid opposition parties and maintain strict control over all media.
Famed artist and activist Ai Weiwei told press on Friday that Mo was cooperating with a system that was "constantly poisoning" its people.
"They mock the ones who dare to raise their voice and opinion, and ignore the sacrifice some have made to gain that right. This is shameful. It is a shame for the Swedish Nobel Prize committee," Aid said.
Mo's win also won sweeping coverage in democratic Taiwan, which China claims to be part of its own territory.
The island's culture minister, Lung Ying-tai, on Friday called Mo "a man of humor" who has used that wit to avoid possible persecution.
Lung, a noted essayist, said the prize may help Chinese "open up their minds and hearts" and engage the world through literature.
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories