Chinese people living in Vancouver are proud and excited that a jailed Chinese pro-democracy activist won the Nobel peace prize, according to a UBC associate professor.

Josephine Chiu-Duke, who teaches Chinese intellectual history at the University of British Columbia, also added that those with ties to China are reluctant to openly show their feelings.

“They don’t want to have any trouble if they want to go back to China,” she said, adding that people fear having difficulties getting visas to enter the country. China does not allow double citizenship.

Since Liu Xiaobo is in jail, his wife travelled to Norway to accept the prize on his behalf. Since returning, Liu Xia said she can only leave her Beijing home under police escort.

Joyce Chung, the Vancouver and national executive director of the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association, said the issue is “sensitive” and declined to comment.

Three other Vancouver-based Chinese-Canadian organizations also refused to comment.

Chiu-Duke said she is pleased with the prize and called it “not just a tribute to (Liu), but also a tribute to the Chinese intellectuals who have struggled for democracy since 1915.”