Transcript by Newsy
BY UNA LU
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Forget the Nobel. China has created its own peace award - “the Confucius Peace Prize.” It has already proposed potential recipients -- Bill Gates, the Panchen Lama, and Jimmy Carter are all possible first winners. It will award the prize on Thursday — exactly one day before the Nobel Committee honors imprisoned Chinese human-rights activist Liu Xiaobo.
The chairman of the Confucius Peace Prize Committee tells Taiwanese Cti TV, this prize was born to protest the Nobel Committee’s injustice. Note how he trips up on the wording of the award.
The chairman of the Confucius Peace Prize Committee, Tan: “To ease the tension between the mainland and Taiwan and improve world peace, that’s why Lien Chan, the honorary chairman of the KMT Party is awarding the Confucius Nobel... I mean, the Confucius Peace Prize.”
Reporter: “The committee was established in December. It’s too new to have an office. It only emphasis its close relationship with Chinese Culture Department officers.”
So why are Chinese officials so angry about the Nobel committee awarding the peace prize to Liu Xiaobo? Here are four main reasons released by China’s state-run Xinhua:
“By ‘enshrining' Liu Xiaobo, it intended to shame China … to subvert the current Chinese political system … to interfere in the domestic affairs of those countries that do not follow the Western model … to change China's path of development.”
The furious Chinese Government not only launched its own peace prize, it is also openly boycotting the Nobel Peace Prize. This year 68 countries were invited to the ceremony, but under pressure from China, 19 countries will not attend. India’s NDTV uses the term -- “China bully” -- to describe that government’s approach.
Reporter: “The 19 countries who are not going to go are Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Cuba...”
Political analyst: “For a group of 19 or 20, you can’t be antagonizing countries across the globe. (FLASH) India as a democracy, perhaps, has a greater responsibility to honor dissidents rather than isolate dissidents.”
But Nobel Institute director Geir Luderstad tells Hong Kong-based Apple Daily, the Chinese government is initiating a series of counterattacks, which are unprecedented in the Nobel’s 109 year history.
Geir Luderstad: “Explicitly contacting other embassies to make the ambassadors or make the countries stay away, this is unprecedented, and encouraging a demonstration against the laureate is also unprecedented.”
Reporter: “Luderstad says some Chinese residents in Oslo called him to express support for awarding Liu Xiaobo - but they have to protest because they have no choice.”
Critics say this has been a busy month for China’s PR machine. The Chinese government is also monitoring all internal media exposure about the Nobel Prize. Here is Next TV’s observation:
Reporter: “China Daily, People Daily, Wen Wei, all mainstream media outlets didn’t report the news. The most popular website in China – BeiDu is blocked. The only related article was Chinese Foreign Ministry’s remonstration.”
CNN reporter: “So when the announcement was made from Oslo that Liu Xiaobo had won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, CNN broadcast that live into Mainland China but we went to black. We were being censored by government officials.”
Friday will mark only the second time in history of the prize that neither the laureate nor a representative could be present to accept the award. The only other time was when German journalist and pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who was locked up in a Nazi concentration camp, could not travel to Oslo for his prize ceremony in 1936.
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