China moves to block foreign broadcasts on Nobel prize
SHANGHAI — Chinese censors apparently began blocking the news websites of CNN, the BBC and the Norwegian broadcaster NRK from appearing in China on Thursday, a day before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is to be held in Oslo, Norway, to honor Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned dissident.
The Chinese authorities have denounced the decision by the Nobel Committee to award this year’s prize to Liu, who is serving an 11-year prison sentence for subversion after he led a pro-democracy campaign here.
The government has sharply criticized Norway and suggested that Western nations are trying to impose their values on China.
China has not said that it is intentionally blocking the news websites of the broadcasters, but Chinese censors regularly black out some portions of CNN and BBC television broadcasts when delicate political topics are covered. This happens even though CNN, BBC and other international television channels are largely limited to five-star hotels and luxury apartments that cater to foreigners.
Beijing’s anger over the decision to make Liu the first Chinese citizen to receive the Nobel Peace Prize has seemed to intensify in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. In recent days, Beijing has pressed foreign governments to boycott the ceremony and repeatedly referred to Liu as a criminal.
As of Thursday, 45 countries had notified the Nobel committee that they would be sending representatives to the ceremony and 19 said they would not, the committee announced at a news conference in Oslo. Two countries that previously had announced that they would not attend — Ukraine and the Philippines — decided to attend instead.