A clearly worried China has scored an own-goal with its ridiculous and abusive reaction to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to its national 'dissident' Liu Xiaobo. The embarrassment should last for some time.
The empty chair in
The Democracy activist and latest laureate Liu Xiaobo missed his big day on the world stage because he is languishing in a prison in north-western
When his award was announced a few weeks ago the CCP went ballistic.
Now that the ceremony has been held, the Chinese leadership has exposed itself as the master of the own-goal.
This is for a number of reasons.
Perhaps the most ridiculous, even childish response was the hurried organization of the Confucius Peace Prize. No-one has ever heard of it before because it was cobbled together in order to take the focus off the Nobel! While the inaugural winner was Lien Chan, a China-friendly Taiwanese politician, the only winner really was intended to be
Runners-up were apparently Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela and Mahmoud Abbas. How absolutely gutted they will all be to know they have been pipped at the real peace prize post!
How horrified these three men will be to have had their good names associated with such cynical manipulation of the quest for world peace.
The own goal is that when all these factors are combined,
Wind back and imagine if
Liu’s status was then hugely inflated by
It came up with its own silly award, but then it decided to make sure the world knew it sided with other countries who feel free to flagrantly breach human rights – namely it convinced administrations such as
Take a look back into the Nobel archives and the other three laureates who were not able to pick up their own prizes were those subjected to imprisonment by Nazi, Soviet and Burmese regimes. Like
That’s a nice neighbourhood to be playing in
Add to that is the prescient observation from the Daily Telegraph’s Peter Foster that China’s intransigence has at a stroke wiped out much of the work achieved by its Olympic Games, student-exchange programmes, English language and media outlets.
China’s actions have indeed, and once again, made the job of diplomacy with it that much harder, and it is obvious other nations have put some thought in to showing their frustration with the authoritarian regime, while still trying to prod them on human rights. Obama’s declaration that Liu’s prize is much more important and deserving than Obama’s own is a strong statement, as was his call for Liu to be released as soon as possible because he is only espousing universal values. Obama was represented in
The Nobel Committee says it is committed to forever linking peace and human rights, which essentially means working to alter the empty-chair-full-prison imbalance.
Liu’s award fits within that frame, and while
Its anger has slapped its own face and those of its 1.3 billion citizens whom it treats like errant children because it fears their freedom will equal the demise of its own privilege as the ruling elite. No surprises, but well worth acknowledging the own-goal.