Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying called Nobel Peace Prize laureat Liu Xiaobo a "strange" person and asked Sunday why "heroes" who helped resolve Chinese problems were not nominated.
"The Nobel Peace Prize committee was always naming strange people from China," Fu told the World Policy Conference in Marrakech, in what might also be a reference to the Dalai Lama, who won in 1989.
"If you are Chinese, all you need to do is to do something strange against China and then you are very likely to be nominated," she added before asking why someone "who said China should be divided into seven parts" won the award.
Fu wondered if "the heroes in China" could "ever be in sight of the Nobel prize," and pointed to those who had helped eliminate widespread poverty and helped feed the country's population of more than 1.3 billion.
She cited agricultural scientist Yuan Longping, called by many "the father of hybrid rice."
Fu said that "at some stage I even thought that maybe he could be nominated.
"But now I now how naive I was to think that way."
She explained that "the Chinese character for peace is composed of two parts, one is rice and the other side is a mouth.
"Throughout history we believe that if every mouth is fed, there's peace on earth."
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