In a major snub to China, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has announced that she would attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, as part of the official delegation on behalf of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia.
At a ceremony in Oslo on Friday, this year's Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power" last year after he authored Charter 08, an online petition by Chinese citizens calling on the Chinese government to improve its policies on democracy and human rights.
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a resolution to congratulate Liu on the award of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
"I am pleased to join with the international community in congratulating Liu Xiaobo as the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize," Pelosi said in a statement.
"In passing the House resolution yesterday (on Thursday), the American government sent a clear message of support for individuals who stand for non-violence, justice, democratic freedoms and the defence of fundamental human rights," Pelosi said.
"As a courageous advocate of peaceful political change, Liu Xiaobo's message of reform is an inspiration to the entire world. In the resolution passed this week, the House of Representatives called for his immediate and unconditional release from prison in China," she said.
Pelosi has been a longstanding advocate for human rights around the world and specifically in China and Tibet.
Pelosi travelled to China in May 2009 and presented a letter asking for the release of Liu and others imprisoned in China.