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NGO-awarded Confucius Peace Prize sparks controversy home and abroad

China Daily | Updated: 2015-10-29 08:11

ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has reportedly decided not to accept this year's Confucius Peace Prize after learning that it is awarded by a Hong Kong-based non-governmental committee and has nothing to do with the Chinese government. Comments:

The Chinese government informed the Zimbabwean government it was not associated with the organization that awards the prize. The matter ended there as far as the government and Zimbabwean president were concerned. But what the government did not do, and should not, is to stop an organization from showing respect and goodwill to someone as best it knows how.

George Charamba, a spokesman for Robert Mugabe, Oct 26

It should be noted that the committee that awards the Confucius Peace Prize was only able to stir up widespread controversy, because it "borrowed" China's increasing global influence and the West's complicated feelings about its rise for self-promotion. Such hype was bound to be noticed by some Western media outlets, which may affect China's image. What the prize really is and who sponsors it have to be made clear before they mislead more people into speculating about their connection with the Chinese government.

Beijing News, Oct 28

To a point, the so-called Confucius Peace Prize does represent some Chinese attitudes and thoughts about contributions to regional peace, despite a number of critiques at home and abroad. Adjustments are needed should it want more support from both the domestic and international society. Non-mainstream events like this can be allowed in China so long as it does not pose a threat to the country's law, fundamental political institutions and core values.

Global Times, Oct 28

Frankly speaking, China's powerful rise in recent years has had positive impact on the international community, especially developing countries burdened by poverty and unrest. However, parochial nationalism should not hijack the "Chinese mode" as a panacea for other countries' problems. In this sense, the Confucius Peace Prize is just an outdated perspective of populism that is possibly hurting the country, and has to be put to an end.

Ma Liming, a columnist at, Oct 27


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