It is unlikely a Chinese writer will win the Nobel prize for literature until the middle of the next century, a leading academic says. Wang Ning, a professor of comparative literature at Beijing Linguistics and Culture University, said yesterday no contemporary Chinese writer had the right qualifications. Writers needed to be well-read in Chinese and Western literature, highly-cultivated in aesthetics and masters of the art of language while possessing profound life experiences, Professor Wang said. The situation would take 50 years to correct, he told Xinhua. The news agency said a major obstacle in the way of a Chinese writer winning the prize was a lack of good translations which would introduce the best Chinese literature to the outside world. Professor Wang said much effort had been put into translating foreign literature into Chinese, yet the more important job of translating Chinese into other languages had been ignored. However, the foundations had been laid in Chinese literature and progress had been made in the past two decades, Xinhua said. The latest generation of writers, including Mo Yan, Shi Tiesheng, Wang Anyi, Yu Hua and Su Tong, were striving towards recognition as world-class talents. Professor Wang said there was also a variety of non-literary reasons why a Chinese writer had never won the prize. But with the development of China's economy and culture and dialogue between China and the outside world becoming more frequent, the professor said he hoped contemporary writers and their works would not be treated with bias. He was speaking after the panel for this year's prize began deliberations. Xinhua said that since writers from neighbouring countries, such as Japan and India, had already been awarded the prize, China should strive to win it.