Added by Nigel Shelbourne on December 9, 2010
Several countries have declined their invitation to attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to be held on Friday December 10 in Norway’s capital Oslo, including China who is boycotting the prize as a result of it being awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
Liu was chosen as this year’s recipient despite currently serving an 11-year sentence in China for “inciting subversion of state power.”
The Nobel Committee has reported that so far 19 invitations, out of the 65 sent out to embassies in Oslo, have been declined. China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan are among the countries that will not be attending the ceremony.
China has encouraged countries not to attend, calling the choice of the Nobel Committee “a Western plot to demonise China.” Although it is not clear how China has influenced the non-attending countries, it is speculated that some have chosen not to attend in order to avoid offending China, or complicate certain business interests they may have with Beijing.
The United Nations won’t be attending the ceremony either, although according to a UN official, this is not unusual. The UN was reportedly not formally invited and does not normally attend unless someone from the agency has won the award.