Oslo, September 22 - The Chinese authorities have warned Norway that relations between the two countries would suffer if Norway awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese human rights activist Rebiya Kadeer, reported the Oslo daily Aftenposten Friday.
The Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui told members of a Norwegian foreign ministry delegation in Beijing Thursday that the relationship between the two countries would "be damaged" if the Chinese human rights activist was awarded the prize.
State Secretary at the foreign ministry Raymond Johansen said Friday that the Chinese threat was "totally unacceptable" and "inappropriate".
The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee was completely independent of the government, he said. The winner of the prize will be announced on Oct 13.
The Chinese human rights activist was arrested in 1999 as a result of her campaign on behalf of the rights of the Uighur ethnic minority, to which she belongs.
She was sentenced to eight years in prison, but was released in 2004 and now lives in exile in the US.
The Beijing government had protested against the awarding of the peace prize in 1989 to the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
In the following years Oslo was warned repeatedly against awarding the prize to Chinese dissidents Wang Dan and Wei Jingshen.
Norwegian media compared the Chinese attitude to the prize with that of the Nazis to the decision to award the prize to Carl von Ossietzy in 1935.
Nazi threats were unable to prevent Oslo from awarding the prize to the German pacifist, but Hitler immediately issued a decree forbidding all German citizens from accepting the prize.