Thanks to the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony this evening, in which Liu Xiaobo is being honoured, the campaign of the Chinese government to condemn the prize as an anti-China, and indeed an anti-peace, plot and to enlist the support of other states in doing so has been given wide coverage, including in yesterday’s New York Times. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu — who looks like a female kapo in films about Nazi concentration camps and is the one who seems to be preferred by the ministry to deliver insults — reported that the members of the Nobel Committee were criminals and clowns, and that over 100 “countries and organisations” agreed with China in condemning the award, which, according to her, demonstrated that the “overwhelming majority” of the world’s people were against it.
The committee, for its part, found it necessary to emphasise that the award was not intended to impose Western values on China.
I am not providing any links here because these comments have been widely reported in English-language media and can be easily found online.
Rather, here are some first-hand news from a restaurant owner in Peking’s Dongcheng district. Yesterday he, along with other restaurant owners, was summoned to the police and asked not to let anyone planning to celebrate Liu’s award into his restaurant. He was to report any praise of Liu to the police, and warned that undercover police would be dispatched and would initiate a process against him if he did not do so.
This particular restaurant owner is involved in the so-called underground art scene (which is not underground at all), so it could be suspected that he was singled out for his suspect sympathies. But according to him, all restaurants in Dongcheng got the same summons.
Then later, the police called the restaurant and said forget it. No need to report after all.