(AP) The Chinese Communist Party's propaganda chief is congratulating Mo Yan for winning the Nobel Prize for literature, saying the award shows China's rising influence.
Mo is the first Chinese citizen to be given the honor and news of his win was plastered across newspaper front pages Friday.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported propaganda chief Li Changchun wrote a letter to the China Writers Association saying the accolade "reflects the prosperity and progress of Chinese literature, as well as the increasing influence of China."
Mo is a member of the party and vice president of the writers association.
Although he is not politically active, human rights activists inside and outside China have questioned whether his ties to the authoritarian ruling party have comprised his artistic and intellectual independence.