Domestics Affairs

Award goes against peace

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-05 07:38
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Nobel Committee's decision violates the principles of Peace Prize and is merely a tool for the West to attack China

The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, a law offender sentenced by China's judiciary to imprisonment for "subversion of the State".

The committee's decision to award the prize to a convict like Liu was in gross violation of the principles of the Peace Prize, a flagrant challenge to China's judicial authority, offended the Chinese people and invited heavy doubts over the motivation, seriousness and credibility of the prize, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

The Nobel Peace Prize was named after Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist and inventor who wished that the prize be awarded to those who have worked for "fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

Over the long period since its creation in 1901, many Peace Laureates have gained extensive respect from the international community, including Chinese people. However, even Nobel himself could never have imagined that the Peace Prize would be used as a political tool by some in the West.

During the Cold War, the prize took on an ideological purpose and turned into an instrument for the West to promote "peaceful evolution" in countries with different political systems. After the end of the Cold War, the Peace Prize has been further utilized by the West as a tool to popularize their values and development models across the world.

In adopting such a role and veering so far from its original purpose, it should be no surprise that the prize was awarded to the Dalai Lama in 1989 and Liu Xiaobo this year.

In fact, the lineup of Norwegian Nobel Committee members, those who decide who is worthy of the Prize, has been a matter of some skepticism in recent years. The Nobel Committee has always claimed independence from the Norwegian government and parliament, and that no one can intervene in its decision-making, but the current chairman is Thorbjorn Jagland, a former Norwegian foreign minister and prime minister and now secretary-general of the Council of Europe. Most of the other committee members also come from partisan groups that advocate military reliance on NATO and a unified diplomatic tone with the United States. Which explains why the choice of Peace Laureates during and after the Cold War has usually been in tune with US global strategy.

From the 1970s to 1990s, during their Cold War confrontation, the Nobel Peace Prize was used by the US-led West to trumpet their values and pressurize the socialist countries led by the erstwhile Soviet Union. Under that kind of political environment, the prize was awarded many times to so-called democracy and human rights fighters antagonistic to the Soviet Union. Andrey Dmitriyevich Sakharov, known for his hostility towards his own country and Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet Union president who spearheaded its disintegration, were both awarded the title.

The Dalai Lama, who advocates "China's separation", and Liu Xiaobo, who advocates "subversion of the State", are the only Chinese who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Conferring the tile upon the Dalai Lama, who plotted a bloody riot in Lhasa in March 1989, the then chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the award was intended to influence China and was a "punishment" on Beijing for the events that summer.

Liu's "longtime non-violent struggle for basic human rights in China" was the reason he was awarded the Peace Prize, according to the committee. In recent years, Liu has published a series of articles lashing out at China's socialist system and the government. Liu has spared no efforts to disseminate reactionary information against the Chinese government on the Internet and encouraged people to overthrow the government. Choosing Liu as the Peace Laureate, once again exhibited the West's attempts to interfere in China's political process and its desire to Westernize the nation.

But, by using the Nobel Peace Prize to once again assault China, Western countries have exposed their deep fears over China's emergence on the international arena. In recent years, China has witnessed a rapid rise in its comprehensive national strength and its economic growth has been on a solid and robust footing. This is in sharp contrast with the US and European countries that have been hard hit by the global financial crisis.

Clearly, the West does not want a strong China. That is embodied in their attitude on a series of issues, from the March 14 violence in Lhasa and the July 5 event in Urumqi, to Google and the recent China-Japan Diaoyu Island dispute. Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo explicitly reveals Western countries' attempts to back anti-socialism forces and utilize them to disrupt China's development.

History has proved such actions by the West always end in failure. A socialist development path with Chinese characteristics is the right choice by the Chinese people and history has shown that it can withstand the test of time and practice.

The Chinese version of this article, written by Guo Ping, is published in the People's Daily.