Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Chaoxu (马朝旭) said in a press conference late today that the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to dissident Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) goes against the aims of the prize and profanes its meaning.

Responding to questions from reporters, Ma said that the prize should “go to people who promote peaceful relations among different peoples, who enhance friendship among nations, who promote disarmament and who work for and publicize conferences of peace.”

Ma also said the awarding of the prize to Liu Xiaobo would “do harm to Sino-Norwegian relations.” Even the Xinhua news agency story on the Foreign Ministry response was kept from the front page at Xinhuanet, the news agency’s official website, and the news appeared at none of China’s major commercial internet news portals.

Chinese economist and scholar Feng Zhenghu (冯正虎), also a well-known rights defender in China, said on Twitter: “I’ve done interviews with BBC, Voice of America, Asahi Shinbun, South China Morning Post and others [about Liu Xiaobo winning the prize]. I’ve not been contacted by a single domestic media.”