In early October, the Nobel Committee announced that it would be awarding its Peace prize to Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese academic serving an eleven year prison sentence for advocating political reform in his country. The choice--which prompted near-unanimous praise from western media outlets--did not sit well with China. In the weeks since the announcement it has forbidden the Liu or his family to attend the Oslo ceremony, and no officials representatives from China will be present.
The reason for the nation's conspicuous absence in Norway is now becoming clearer: it plans to award its own peace prize. Dubbed the "Confucius Peace Prize," the award will be presented to former Taiwan Vice President Lien Chan for--according to the Associated Press--building "a bridge of peace between the mainland and Taiwan." The obvious intent of the "cobbled together" award (also the AP's language) will be to counter the choice of Liu Xiaobo by the Nobel Committee.
"We should not compete, we should not confront the Nobel Prize, but we should try to set up another standard,'' said the Beijing businessman who suggested the prize, Liu Zhiqin, to the Associated Press. "The Nobel Prize is not a holy thing that we cannot doubt or question. Everyone has a right to dispute whether it's right or wrong.''
Jay Nordlinger at National Review decides to exercise this right:
They have now created their own prize, in response to what a committee of five Norwegians has done. Just like the Nazis and the Soviets. What a beautiful club.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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