The Chinese government has started an alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize. Some of the latter’s recipients have been a little dubious, such as Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin for promoting peace with their historic 1939 nonaggression pact. Okay, they really didn’t receive it, but the award has been tarnished in recent years.
However, Beijing is mad because the Nobel committee actually made a good choice this year–Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident. But the Nobel committee is unlikely to make a good choice two years in the row, so the case for an alternative remains.
So there’s now the Confucious Peace Prize. Reports the Washington Post:
A Chinese group awarded its own version of a peace prize Thursday, a move apparently intended to counter the Nobel committee’s decision to honor imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo.
Organizers of the Confucius Peace Prize named their choice – former Taiwanese vice president Lien Chan – at a ceremony in Beijing, a day before the Nobel ceremony in Oslo that China is boycotting.
Beijing was infuriated when Liu was chosen as the Nobel Peace Prize winner in October, saying it was a Western plot against China. Officials have repeatedly called democracy activist Liu, who is currently serving an 11-year sentence for co-authoring an appeal for political reform, a criminal.
The newly created Confucius prize, which comes with a purse of $15,000 (100,000 yuan), was named after the famed philosopher and is intended to give the Chinese “viewpoint of peace,” according to the committee that created it.
I could use fifteen grand. I’m not sure exactly what a Chinese “viewpoint of peace” is–that probably depends whether we are talking Confucious himself or Mao Zedong (by that standard Hitler and Stalin would get one). Lien Chan, as a Taiwanese more favorable than most to Beijing, is a safe choice. I think I can aim for the Lien Chan standard. I’ll get my recommendations in order for next year.