SHANGHAI, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- A Swedish Academy member has defended Nobel Prize in Literature-winner Mo Yan, saying the Chinese novelist's win "has nothing to do with politics, friendship or luck."
Goran Malmqvist, a sinologist and one of the 18 members of the Swedish Academy, the awarding body of the Nobel Prize, said on Sunday that he felt irritated at media accusations against Mo.
Some Western journalists have questioned his win after the Chinese writer was announced as the Nobel laureate in literature on Oct. 11. They based their allegations that Mo is not qualified on the fact that he is a member of the Communist Party of China and vice president of the China Writers Association.
Malmqvist, 88, who is on a three-day visit to Shanghai, described the accusation as "quite unfair to Mo."
"The Western media workers who criticized Mo would not even have read one of his books," the Swede told a press conference in Chinese.
"They know nothing about the quality of Mo's literature. They should not have 'opened fire' on him," Malmqvist said, adding that the only standard used to decide whether or not to give a writer the prize is the quality of his or her literature.
"We do not care about politics," he said.
According to Malmqvist, Swedish Academy members decided upon the Nobel laureate this year without many of the heated debates which usually take place in the voting.
"We reached a consensus and elected Mo from the five finalists in a 'comparatively peaceful' manner," he said.
Malmqvist was invited to China by a Shanghai-based publishing house to promote a new book of poet Tomas Transtromer that he had translated into Chinese.
The sinologist, who has read extensively in Chinese, said the country's literature should have been introduced to the world a long time ago.
"There are many world-class or even above-world-class writers in China," he said.
"Many Chinese poets are qualified enough to be given the Nobel Prize in Literature... but it all depends on the translation."
Malmqvist said Mo's win will make Chinese people attach more importance to translation, which "will help Chinese literature get closer to world literature."