Chinese Nobel literature prize winner Mo Yan says he hopes jailed 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo can soon be freed from prison.
Mo on Thursday became the first Chinese national to win the prestigious literature prize. He has come under criticism for failing to speak out about the plight of Liu or against abuses by the Chinese government.
But speaking at a news conference at his hometown in northern Shandong province on Friday, Mo said he hopes Liu can achieve freedom “as soon as possible.”
Mo's comments are likely to come as an embarrassment to Beijing, which has lavished praise on the 57-year-old author.
The official reaction stands in stark contrast to its response two years ago, when the Peace Prize was given to the dissident Liu.
Liu is currently serving an 11-year prison term for inciting subversion, charges given to him after he called for a change to China's one-party system.