Described as a chain-smoking, impassioned literary critic and political essayist, he has spent his adult life advocating for democratic reform in China. Today, he becomes the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Peace Prize. And as of now, it is unclear how he will receive that news in his prison cell.
Liu Xiaobo is the winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his nonviolent political reform movement. The 54-year-old is months into an 11 year prison sentence for "inciting the subversion of state power."
As is often the case with Nobel winners, the announcement is not without controversy. China warned the Norwegian Nobel Committee not to give the award to Liu. Chinese officials claim the committee violated its own principals by honoring Liu, who they classify as a criminal.
Paul Martin, director of Human Rights Studies at Barnard College at Columbia University, joins us for more about Liu, and an analysis of the political implications of the Nobel Committee's decision.