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Vladimir Putin: A Candidate for China’s Version of the Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 19, 2011

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Last year, a day before the imprisoned Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia in

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks during a regional conference of his United Russia party in Cherepovets, Russia, September 5, 2011. (Photo: Alexei Nikolsky / RIA / Reuters)

Norway, a group of Chinese scholars with ties to the Chinese Culture Ministry announced the victor in the inaugural Confucius Peace Prize. According to the 100,000-yuan (around $16,130 at today’s exchange rate) award’s curious announcement, the Chinese award was created because “China is a symbol of peace…it owns the absolute power to uphold peace…Norway is only a small country with scarce land area and population…it must be in the minority…concerning the conception of freedom and democracy.” Subtle the Confucius Prize was not.

Last year’s winner, Taiwan’s former Vice President Lien Chan, who bettered relations between mainland China and his home island, failed to show up at the Beijing award ceremony. In fact, he had no idea he had won until the press contacted him the day before. To avoid embarrassment, the prize was handed to a solemn little girl who was officially dubbed an “angel of peace.” China-watchers might have been excused for thinking this crude attempt to promote an alternative peace prize would quietly wither. Read the rest of this entry »

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