Morits Skaugen, a Norwegian entrepreneur, published an article in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten on Oct 12, in which he credits China for its development and progress and suggests that it is China that truly deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
Skaugen says China's development is the greatest economic development we have ever seen, and that it will have a profound effect on the future. It is possible that the United States and European countries will not be able to maintain their long held dominance over the world economy.
This year China will likely overtake Japan to become the world's second largest economy. However, it is still a developing nation in terms of per capita gross domestic product, which is still well below that of Japan.
Though, during the past 20 years, the living standards of the Chinese people have been greatly improved, many are still struggling hard for a better living.
Yet China has undoubtedly performed impressively in many areas, such as improving its education system, increasing productivity, constructing nuclear power plants and high-speed railways, and developing Internet technology. As for green technology, Chinese companies are striving to explore the domestic market and play a leading role in the world.
Of course China still has a long way to go, and there is no denying it has many problems that will require great wisdom to solve.
The past year saw workers go on strike in some cities in China for higher salaries and shorter working hours with the help of trade unions. Skaugen said according to his experience in China, such problems that do exist are not taboo and can be discussed.
When Westerners blame China for this and that, they should not forget that the United States and European countries went through the same stages developing their economies - and it wasn't that long ago. It was cheap labor that propelled the rapid economic development of the West. And it is strong economic power that guarantees democracy and human rights in the Western world.
China will soon complete its current development stage and enter the next with a more open and harmonious society.
Some Westerners assume that changes have occurred in China only because they have put pressure on it to improve its human rights. But China never submits to any external pressure, because it is confident of its own mode of development and most Chinese are proud of the way China solves its own problems.
Therefore, from this point of view, maybe it is China that truly deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
(China Daily 10/18/2010 page8)