Unfortunately I am way behind in discussions of Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned Chinese civil-liberties activist whose selection for the Nobel Peace Prize has predictably touched off indignant responses from the Chinese government. For instance, from the English version of People's Daily this week:
>>This disregard of Chinese laws [since Liu is in jail] and a gross interference in China's internal affairs made some Western scholars immediately question the reasonableness of the composition of the Nobel Committee, the faithful execution of the prize founder's behest and the independence of the Committee's actual operation, and enabled Chinese people see more clearly that the Nobel Peace Prize is an award that has been led astray politically.<<
As a minor installment, and as a handy Western reader's guide to arguments you might hear from official Chinese sources, it's worth mentioning the two main lines of denunciation of Liu by authorities and by Chinese netizens following the official line.
One is the "300 years of colonialism" criticism -- denunciations of Liu for having said, in an interview back in 1988, that it had taken 100 years of British colonialism to bring Hong Kong up to its level of development and public order, and that it might take 300 years to do the same for the Chinese mainland. As mentioned earlier, I've received dozens of emails from Chinese readers saying that this proves Liu's hatred for his homeland and his countrymen. Meta-point: as mentioned recently, Westerners often forget how close to the surface and easily aroused are Chinese resentments and suspicions about mistreatment and disrespect from the Western world from the colonial era onward.