STOCKHOLM (AP) — Nobel Prize laureate Mo Yan, who has been criticized for his cozy relationship with China's Communist Party, has compared censorship to security checks at airports, suggesting it is unpleasant but necessary.

Mo says he does not believe censorship should stand in the way of truth, but that it can be used, or is sometimes even necessary, to stop rumors and defamation.

China's first writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature is in Stockholm, where he is set to receive the prestigious prize next week.

Mo dodged questions about fellow writer and compatriot Liu Xiaobo, who won the Peace Prize in 2010 but remains in prison. Mo has previously said that he hopes Liu will be free soon, but he refused to elaborate Thursday while meeting with journalists in Stockholm.