MCLC: Putin wins Confucius Peace Prize (17)

Denton, Kirk denton.2 at
Sat Dec 10 10:35:18 EST 2011

From: matthew robertson <mprobertson11 at>
Subject: Putin wins Confucius Peace Prize (17)

This is a farce. MPR


Source: Washington Post (12/8/11):

China¹s Nobel-naysaying peace prize alternative honors Putin for enhancing
Russia¹s status
By Associated Press,

BEIJING ‹ Two exchange students accepted a Chinese peace prize Friday on
behalf of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was honored for
enhancing Russia¹s status and crushing anti-government forces in Chechnya,
the prize organizers said.

The Confucius Peace Prize was hastily launched last year as an alternative
to the Nobel Peace Prize which had just honored imprisoned Chinese
dissident Liu Xiaobo. The 2011 prize ceremony took place a day before this
year¹s Nobel prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway, and as Nobel made new calls
for China to release Liu from prison.

The Confucius Peace Prize organization announced last month that Putin had
been chosen to receive this year¹s award, saying that during his 2000-2008
tenure as president Putin ³brought remarkable enhancement to the military
might and political status of Russia.² It also cited Putin¹s crushing of
anti-government forces in Chechnya.

The justification seems slightly dubious given authoritarian trends in
Putin¹s policies and his reputation for jailing political rivals and
cracking down on government critics. Ongoing protests in Moscow over a
parliamentary election believed marred by fraud have raised the biggest
ever challenge to Putin, who is seeking to return to the presidency next

Qiao Damo, head of the China International Peace Research Center, said he
hopes the Russian exchange students, who were apparently selected to stand
in for Putin, will be able to give the prize to Putin, either in Beijing
when he next visits or in Moscow.

The pair are studying at Beijing Language and Culture University, Qiao
said in a telephone interview. He gave their names as Katya and Maria but
was unsure of their surnames. Two students from Belarus were also present,
he said.

The ceremony for the inaugural prize last year had its own surreal tint.
Honoree former Taiwanese Vice President Lien Chan was unaware of the
proceedings and did not attend, so the prize was given to a young girl
whom the organizers refused to identify.

The Confucius Prize sponsors are professors and academics who say they are
independent of China¹s government.

It was launched to promote traditional Chinese and Asian ideas of peace,
Qiao said. He criticized the Nobel Committee¹s criteria for choosing peace
prize recipients over the past two years, saying it had ³drifted further
and further away from the concept of peace.²

Liu¹s win enraged the government and Chinese nationalists, who accused the
Nobel committee of interfering in China¹s legal system as part of a plot
to disgrace the nation. Liu is serving an 11-year prison sentence for
co-authoring an appeal for political reform.

Qiao said he disapproved of Liu as a peace prize recipient because Liu had
³humiliated his motherland² with his published views, and cited comments
Liu made about how the Chinese territory of Hong Kong had benefited from
being an English colony.

³We feel it¹s wrong to seize colonies by force and aggression,² Qiao said.

Meanwhile, a group of five Nobel Peace Prize winners and human rights
activists called for Liu¹s immediate and unconditional release from jail.
The International Committee of Support to Liu Xiaobo said in an email that
Liu is the only Nobel laureate currently in prison, and accused the
international community of forgetting his plight.

³Unfortunately, the sentencing to 11 years in prison seems to be forgotten
slowly but steadily outside China,² said the group.

The campaign for Liu¹s release includes Nobel winners Shirin Ebadi, Jody
Williams, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams and Desmond Tutu. Also involved
are former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel and activists from
Reporters Without Borders and other rights groups.

The announcement of Liu¹s Nobel prize last year cheered China¹s fractured,
persecuted dissident community and brought calls from the U.S., Germany
and others for his release. It also infuriated the Chinese government, and
authorities harassed and detained dozens of Liu¹s supporters in the weeks
that followed.

It resulted in harsh treatment of Liu¹s wife, Liu Xia, who has largely
been held incommunicado, effectively under house arrest, watched by
police, without phone or Internet access and prohibited from seeing all
but a few family members.

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