Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize as the award committee ignored warnings from China’s government. The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday praised Liu’s “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights” and said China, as a growing economic and political power, needs to take more responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens. A bitter China has denounced the awarding of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo and says the decision will hurt relations with Norway. ‘Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law,’ The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday. Awarding the peace prize to Liu ‘runs completely counter to the principle of the prize and is also a blasphemy to the peace prize’.