19 countries that are siding with China on the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Liu Xiaobo
This year's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on Dec. 10 won't only be missing its honoree, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who is under house arrest in China. The number of countries that have declined invitations to attend has risen from six to 19 in the past two months. Nobel committee members suspect that has something to do with China's "you're either with us or against us" tone urging other nations to join its boycott of the Oslo ceremony. Beijing boasted Tuesday that most countries would stay away from attending the ceremony. In fact, only the 65 countries with embassies in Norway were invited, and 44 of those had accepted, according to the Nobel Prize Committee.
Who's standing with China? Here's a list. (click on the blue circle in the upper right corner of this page to move through the slides)
Russia and Ukraine
But there is plenty of cause for Russia to appease China. Its abundance of energy resources and China's growing need for energy have led to strong economic ties between the two countries. Those ties are likely only to strengthen. Russia is hoping for further Chinese investment in energy and China wants to secure access to oil and gas in Russia, Reuters reports.
What's more, Russia isn't known as a great champion of human rights. Freedom House, which monitors human rights around the world, characterized Russia as "not free" because of its alleged electoral abuses, growing state censorship, greater police corruption, and repeated intimidation of human rights activists and journalists. The executive branch has a strong hold on the media, civil society, and other branches of government.
Ukraine has had diplomatic ties with China since 1992, a year after its independence from the Soviet Union. Though Ukraine's former President Viktor Yushchenko was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize in 2005, the country is experiencing a warming of diplomatic ties with Russia and a growing desire for technology advancement support from China.