Monday, November 29, 2010
Who Are and Who Are Not Attending the Nobel Ceremony
It is quite clear that Liu Xiaobo will not be able to make it to the ceremony of Nobel Peace Prize, neither could his wife Liu Xia. It is likely that, for the first time in the history of this award, an empty chair will represent the honoree.
In the diplomatic scene, the Chinese government was successful to persuade or pressure only 5 other countries to boycott the ceremony: Russia, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Morocco, and Irag. On the other hand, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be there to represent America, a very high-profile gesture.
Lynn Chang, a famous Chinese American violinist, will be performing at the ceremony. Also invited to perform was a children's choir from China, but they eventually declined for fear of repercussions. A children's choir from Norway will sing in their stead.
Former student Wang Dan expressed his regret for not being able to make the trip on his Facebook page today. He cited difficulty in schedule at the time of finals for the course he is teaching in Taiwan.
Another dissident who won't be there is Dai Qing, who previously had made a public announcement to attend the ceremony in support of Liu Xiaobo. She had the trip planed but then cancelled it after she learned that Wan Yanhai (万延海), another invitee on Liu Xia's list, will be able to make the trip. Dai Qing is now on her way back to China.
Wan Yanhai is an AIDS activist in China who has recently moved to US.