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China Blocks News Websites In Protest Of Nobel Nominee

China has blocked the websites of the BBC, CNN and Norweigian broadcaster NRK only 24 hours prior to Liu Xiaobo being awarded the Nobel peace prize.

News agency AFP reports that users in mainland China, attempting to access the websites of these news broadcasters, were met only with a message stating, "Internet Explorer cannot display the web page".

According to The Guardian, CNN has confirmed that its site is being blocked in China, the BBC is however yet to comment on the matter.

China has been openly critical of this years Nobel peace prize after dissident Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo was nominated for the award. The government has already attempted to censor the matter, after blacking out early reports of Liu’s nomination on television news coverage on CNN, BBC and French satellite broadcaster TV5, and by not reporting the story on Chinese state TV at all.

Liu was jailed for 11 years for the crime of “instigating subversion” against the Beijing Government.

Chinese foreign minister Jiang Yu said in a statement: "The Chinese people and the overwhelming majority of people in the world are against this. This is not an issue of human rights; it is an issue of interference of internal affairs."

In protest, the Chinese Government has set up its own rival awards ceremony to the Nobel prize; the “Confucius peace prize”.