Bureaucracy threatens Chinese answer to Nobel

30 Sep

From WSJ:

The future of China’s homegrown alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize was thrown into doubt on Thursday…Organizers first offered the Confucius Peace Prize last year just days before the ceremony that marked the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Organizers then said the prize represented China’s views on peace and human rights.

But the organizers apparently didn’t seek permission from China’s Ministry of Culture to offer the prize. According to one group affiliated with the prize, the Chinese Native Art Association, authorities revoked permission to offer it under the name of an officially sanctioned group.

Liu Haofeng, an artist and the Confucius award’s executive chairman, said in an interview that the award would continue outside the auspices of the government and would be given out next year. He said he understood the ministry’s decision, saying that another group under the ministry’s supervision wanted to offer a similar award and that there couldn’t be two. “We are a non-government organization and we will keep doing it to express our wishes within the law, no matter how hard it will be,” he said.

Mr. Li said the new version of the prize would be called the Confucius World Peace Prize.

The prize was described last year in the state-run Global Times newspaper as a way for “the Chinese to declare China’s views on peace and human rights to the world” and came with a 100,000 yuan (about $15,600) purse.

Full article here.

Shortlisted candidates for this years prize included Vladamir Putin, Angela Merkel, the Panchen Lama (China’s appointed answer to the Dali Lama), South African Presiden Jacob Zume and advocate of closer Taiwan China relations, James Soong.

Nice.

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