Thursday, 9 December 2010

Last Ditch Salvo

On the eve of the Nobel Prize ceremony, China continues to try to discredit it, now saying it's some kind of western plot against China.

The hilarious thing is that the winner of its inaugural Confucius Peace Prize today did not come to China to accept it -- mostly because he wasn't officially notified that he'd won, and with relations between China and Taiwan being on and off again, Lien Chan rightly decided not to wade into this issue.

So while there is a prize with Lien's name on it along with 150,000RMB (how cheap is that?), there was no ceremony that took place.

Meanwhile the Foreign Ministry has become really creative with its colourful attacks regarding the Nobel Peace Prize that Liu Xiaobo will be honoured with tomorrow.

The other day it claimed some 100 countries were not attending the ceremony in Oslo, proof that many countries disagreed with the choice of Liu.

However, the Nobel organizing committee stated 65 embassies were invited, 18 of which declined, probably due to pressure or campaigning by China. They include Russia, Egypt, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan. Why is this list not surprising?

And now the Foreign Ministry is calling the members of the Nobel committee "clowns" and how this is a "flagrant interference in China's sovereignty".

"Clowns" is a new description of someone Beijing detests. How comic.

In the meantime, China has stepped up the offensive by blocking some foreign news sites like BBC, CNN and Norwegian state broadcaster NRK from today.

While Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu argued that Liu was a "common criminal", saying "Liu Xiaobo broke Article 105, a crime of instigating the subversion of state power... he went beyond the general criticism of the state", the Nobel committee has stood firm in its choice.

Nobel committee secretary Geir Lundestad said this year's prize was "big and important" because "it reflects on regimes".

"The empty chair [symbolizing Liu and his family being unable to come] will be the strongest argument for this year's prize," he said.

It's good to see a group so defiantly standing up against China.

While the government may claim this prestigious prize will hurt the feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese, many of the educated young people who have been following this fiasco are probably cringing, hearing the vitriol coming out of Beijing.

How does their government's actions make them proud to be Chinese?

1 comment:

  1. what a contrast a big , mighty government, a world super power is so afraid of a tiny weak and jailed 'criminal'.