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China's Influence Widens Nobel Peace Prize Boycott 360

Posted by timothy
from the friends-of-un-friends dept.
c0lo writes "Not only did China decline to attend the upcoming Nobel peace prize ceremony, but urged diplomats in Oslo to stay away from the event warning of 'consequences' if they go. Possibly as a result of this (or on their own decisions), 18 other countries turned down the invitation: Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. Reuters seems to think the 'consequences' are of an economic nature, pointing out that half of the countries with economies that gained global influence during recent times are boycotting the ceremony (with Brazil and India still attending)."
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China's Influence Widens Nobel Peace Prize Boycott

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  • Creating own award (Score:5, Informative)

    by Unoriginal Nick (620805) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:57PM (#34482740)
    The AP is also reporting that China is creating a Confucius Peace Prize [yahoo.com] to be given out the day before the Nobel Prize.
    • by oWj9*7!7dsggh7 (1952478) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:50PM (#34483094)
      It's true that the Nobel Peace Prize has been unreasonably politicized — not so much with Liu Xiaobo, but certainly with Gore and Obama. Then again, international events are intrinsically political and always have been.

      I don't know what to say about the Confucius Peace Prize, though. Confucius was not about either peace or war — he was about extreme social conservatism. I suspect that one of these days, the world is going to stop finding China cute and see it for what it is: a first world colonialist culture with a high developed traditional theory of realpolitik and a chip on its shoulder about not being treated with sufficient respect. China will then be a much more interesting foil to the United States than it is now.

      I mean, assuming the United States and China both still exist and haven't destroyed each other or merged into some horrible monster.
      • by PitaBred (632671)

        There's a reason Joss Whedon chose a mix of Chinese and English as the evolution of language in Firefly...

      • Clearly the Chinese need to read the US memos and bone up on their diplomatic skills. You are not supposed to openly do these things you hide it and attack anybody who might leak out your real activities.

        • Re:Chinese Diplomacy (Score:5, Interesting)

          by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @04:41AM (#34484416) Homepage

          Please do not confuse Chinese and China. There are many democratic Chinese people living elsewhere in the world that want nothing to do with the corporo-fascist government of China. You can not even call it a Chinese government as the majority of Chinese living in China have little on no influence over the Government of China.

          Personally this is a diplomatic mistake as it points out exactly which countries China has financial influence over, Pakistan, Iran, Sudan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. Russia is the interesting one, although it is likely they don't care one way or the other about China's opinion and stayed away for their own reasons. As for Iraq and Colombia, hmm, perhaps they are trying to get out from under the US and looking to build relations with China or more likely Russia. In fact quite a few more likely stayed away to align with Russia rather than China.

          In fact it would be interesting to find out why Russia did not attend.

      • That Iraq and Afghanistan are on this list, when they are countries that the US has spent a huge amount of effort bringing them into its sphere of influence is a triumph for China.

        There are also parallels with US diplomacy in the past: organising the Olympics boycott over Afghanistan, and getting support for the Iraq war with promises for a share of the loot.

        Economic influence usually trumps political and military.

    • The AP is also reporting that China is creating a Confucius Peace Prize to be given out the day before the Nobel Prize.

      Like the Party's massive focus on Beijing Opera that mimicked the west while using a thin veneer of native culture as a pretense of not copying the west, the Chinese autocracy proves that they still suffer from a serious inferiority complex.

    • by MoellerPlesset2 (1419023) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @03:34AM (#34484172)

      The AP is also reporting that China is creating a Confucius Peace Prize to be given out the day before the Nobel Prize.

      Well, they're in good company:
      "The German National Prize for Art and Science [wikipedia.org] (German: Deutscher Nationalpreis für Kunst und Wissenschaft) was an award created by Adolf Hitler in 1937 as a replacement for the Nobel Prize (he had forbidden Germans to accept the latter award in 1936 after an anti-Nazi German writer, Carl von Ossietzky, was awarded the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize)."

      And of course the Soviets also banned (a bit on-and-off though) their citizens from recieving the Nobel, and Stalin created the Stalin Prize [wikipedia.org] in his own honor.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Confucius say this year's prize goes to the brave hero who drove his tank into Tiananmen Square to strike a blow for peace against violent, anarchist protesters!

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:59PM (#34482744) Homepage

    When I think of countries contributing to global peace, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, etc. don't come to mind in the first place.

    • by girlintrainingpants (1954872) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:14PM (#34482826)
      What about the USA?

      Mr. Obama was elected and was immediately awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize before he had a chance to make any change. I wouldn't call him a warmonger, but we're still at odds with the Middle East, and he/we appear to have no plan in sight to change that.
      • by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:22PM (#34482880) Homepage

        I never said that countries that are NOT in the list are peaceful; I merely said that the ones that ARE in the list don't strike me as such.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      After the 2009 award to Mr. Obama, Nobel lost any meaning it had. Nothing against the man, but he simply hadn't done anything to warrant that kind of acknowledgment, yet. Nobels are about as meaningful as Oscars, now. They can fade away.

    • When I think of countries contributing to global peace, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, etc. don't come to mind in the first place.

      Sorry bro. Mubarak, Musharraf, Karzai, all buddy buddy with the United States. If Ahmadinejad would follow orders, he'd be our buddy too.

  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:00PM (#34482754)

    The only one in that list that even raises an eyebrow is Russia.

    As for half of the countries that gained global influence during recent times, that's just a veiled reference to the "BRIC" countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Yes, two of the four BRIC countries aren't attending. But it's not like they're a statistical sample.

    • by zakeria (1031430)
      Why? they where the one's that militarized China after the collapse of the Soviet Union, China is their closest ally and fast becoming Russia's bigger brother.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Fast becoming? You have the tense wrong.

        China: 1.2 Billion people and a GDP of 5.0 Trillion dollars.
        Russia: 0.14 Billion people and a 1.2 Trillion dollar GDP.

        sources [wikipedia.org]

  • On the one hand, I know the West tends to set up the "super bad guy" to use to rally its people against an external threat. On the other, China sure doesn't do a lot to make me comfortable with their new position in the world. And when looking at a lot of those countries, I wonder if we are going to end up with a semi-sphere vs semi-sphere block in the not-too-distant future.

  • We won't miss them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:05PM (#34482786) Homepage Journal

    That list is almost a Who's Who of world assholes.

  • Consequences (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chebucto (992517) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:06PM (#34482792) Homepage

    IMHO this is the consequence of turning the peace prize into a political too. Kissinger? Arafat? Bad enough to have warmongers who happened to make peace. But the Obama prize was the worst. I like Obama myself, but he did _nothing_, good or bad, to deserve that prize. It completely discredited the institution. At this point I wouldn't be too sorry to see it go.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by c0lo (1497653)

      At this point I wouldn't be too sorry to see it go.

      Won't it be better to be restored at its normal signficance (instead of seeing it go)?
      I know nothing (yet) about this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate... is it not a step in the good direction?

      • No. Let it die. Another form of peace recognition will take its place in time.

        • by c0lo (1497653)
          Just how many peace prizes were created in the last couple of centuries? Of course, I'm somehow excluding "Confucius Peace Prize" [globaltimes.cn] - a strange association of a peace prize with words of bellicose connotations.
      • Re:Consequences (Score:5, Informative)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @12:02AM (#34483182)

        I know nothing (yet) about this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate...

        His name is Liu Xiaobo. He is currently imprisoned in China. He advocates democracy. But that is not why he is in prison.

        He also advocates abolition of the hukou [wikipedia.org]. That is why he is in prison.

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          I know nothing (yet) about this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate...

          His name is Liu Xiaobo. He is currently imprisoned in China. He advocates democracy. But that is not why he is in prison.

          He also advocates abolition of the hukou [wikipedia.org]. That is why he is in prison.

          A sincere thank you.

          As usually, a good information creates more questions than answers, especially for an outsider or the system. Here would be 2 of them:

          1. why would it be that, being imprisoned for other reasons, is China's govt so upset for his contributions on other lines are recognized?
          2. what's so wrong with the abolition of hukou? (I'm not contesting China's right to create its own laws, by I'm on the principle that faulty laws create more troubles than solve).
          • Re:Consequences (Score:5, Informative)

            by koxkoxkox (879667) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @01:58AM (#34483788)

            Hukou is a way to reduce the movement of populations. China especially fears large migrations from the poor west provinces to the rich east coast and from the rural areas to the cities. It is quite similar to the immigration problems all around the world, except that it is inside the country.

            However, Liu Xiaobo is by no means the only one criticizing this hukou system and a lot of people want to reform it, arguing that it creates a very unequal society, where citizens don't have the same rights to education, social security, housing, etc. depending on where their official hukou is.

            The reason he is in jail right now is rather that he is the main force behind the "Charter 08". This charter is also what prompted the Nobel Price. I'll let you google it yourself, I can't access it from work.

    • by Mysteray (713473)

      That really takes the cake, doesn't it?

      The sad thing is - what if Obama actually does something to deserve one in the near future? (Leaving aside the question of just how likely this might be of course.)

      They can't give it to him again - he's already used his up! So what they really did was they robbed Obama of the ability to earn the prize the honest way. Forever in the history books it will show he received the prize before doing anything of significance with the power he would wield.

      The only possible i

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by DigiShaman (671371)

        Greatness? Greatness?! What are you going on about? Obama is just another politician that became a product of the media. Never in my lifetime have I ever witnessed the ignorant swooning of the masses over this guy. At a global level at that. He's nothing special. He has done NOTHING special. Get over it. Please.

        • You're a right-wing troll, but you're right. He's the Great Capitulator.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by haruchai (17472)

          And never in my life have I witnessed such unwarranted vitriol, hatred and lying denigration towards an intelligent, well-meaning, decent man. Obama's no saint and he may never be ranked among the great Presidents, but idiots in the US voted in a corporate puppet who couldn't articulate two sentences in a row TWICE. Just about anyone would have looked pretty good after that.

          The US, and the world, was ready for change and that's how Obama was perceived - a man of average circumstances, who, in his person, re

          • You suffer from psychological projection. I never said I hated the man. In fact, he's as much as a victim as we all are. But hey, he let himself be setup for the fall that was natural to come. And no, he hasn't done diddly squat in the way of policy to "bridge the divide" as near as I can tell.

            • And no, he hasn't done diddly squat in the way of policy to "bridge the divide" as near as I can tell.

              Off the top of my head:

              1) Massive watering down of the healthcare bill - like removal of the public option.
              2) Looks like he's going to continue the Bush tax cuts even for the highest income brackets.

              My impression is that he does make policy changes that republicans want, but short of up and quitting his job, the GOP would never give him credit for a single compromise.

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by DigiShaman (671371)

                So if I'm on a path to utterly destroy this nation with bad policy, why should I be given praise and positive recognition when I only move back in the other direction ever so slightly? He's a Jimmy Carter Part II. He'll get my applause when he leaves office. I bet he's a fun guy to party with though.

              • by jensend (71114)

                Uh- he didn't introduce those compromises as a "bridging the divide" type thing, he did those because there was absolutely no way a public option or a tax bill not extending the full Bush tax cut would have made it through Congress. Can't really credit him as a unifier for doing that when he only did so because circumstances forced him to --esp. the fact that not everyone in the Democratic caucus is on the far left*, the voters' rejection of the broader health care tack as manifest in the Scott Brown electi

              • 1) Massive watering down of the healthcare bill - like removal of the public option.

                Changing a bill because not even enough members of your own party will vote to pass it isn't exactly bipartisanship. That's just politicking. Bipartisanship would be developing the bill with input from the other side from the BEGINNING, not giving in just enough to get your bill passed after failing to force it down people's throats. Even "massively watered down" the bill is still a terrifying monstrosity.

                2) Looks like he's

          • by lennier (44736)

            I guess John Kerry got some ridiculously unfair treatment from the Swift Boaters but there did seem to be some legit questions about his war record and discarding his medals.

            Yes, about that. I wish Kerry had stood by his anti-Vietnam War protest days. Because he was right. That was a horrible, pointless, war of atrocities which the USA should never have entered.

            Kerry should have stood up proudly and said "Vietnam was wrong, Iraq is wrong, Afghanistan is wrong, Dubya is a war criminal, I'm an antiwar hero and proud of it, and if elected I'm pulling the USA out immediately, closing Gitmo and filing treason charges, you'd better believe it."

            Would it have played to the 2004-era mas

          • by Zak3056 (69287)

            idiots in the US voted in a corporate puppet who couldn't articulate two sentences in a row TWICE.

            Oh, come now. Bush managed to string together a coherent statement at least three--maybe even four--times in his eight years. Saying he couldn't manage to do it just twice is base libel.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Chibi Merrow (226057)

            And, despite the political polarisation of present-day America, he has tried to reach across the aisle but the opposition are holding the voters hostage to their elitist agenda.

            Do you seriously believe that? Is saying your opponents need to get in the back of the bus reaching across the aisle? Is calling those who disagree with you 'enemies' reaching across the aisle? Those are just the two most recent examples I can think of... What exactly can you hold up as his efforts at bipartisanship?

            • by haruchai (17472)

              Yes, I do believe it. Even when he compromises, which he did far too often, from the very beginning, no Republican would vote yea on one of his bills.

              He's watered down every bill to try to placate them, at least somewhat, and it's gotten him nowhere. So, he's a fool for trying.
              But his biggest headache, at least when he had control of the House, were the Blue Dog Democrats.
              In what has to be the greatest irony of the Tea Party upset, is that the Blue Dogs were bounced to a greater degree than most of the Demo

          • Intelligent, sure. Well-meaning or decent, never. He's not only a politician, but one who was able to get elected to the office of United States president. That means that he's a corrupt, self-serving man.

            Granted, I'm only 25, but out of all the presidents I can remember, not ONE served the people. Politicians almost always serve themselves, and are not to be trusted until proven trustworthy many times over.

          • The billionaire Koch brothers' war against Obama : The New Yorker (Aug 30, 2010) [newyorker.com]

            Some critics have suggested that the Kochs’ approach has subverted the purpose of tax-exempt giving. By law, charitable foundations must conduct exclusively nonpartisan activities that promote the public welfare. A 2004 report by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, a watchdog group, described the Kochs’ foundations as being self-serving, concluding, “These foundations give money to nonprofit org

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      He was the first President after Bush. Which is apparently good enough.

    • Re:Consequences (Score:5, Insightful)

      by macshit (157376) <miles@NOSPam.gnu.org> on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:43PM (#34483056) Homepage

      But in fact, this years prize seems to actually go in the other direction, of rewarding somebody who truly took personal risks to advance the cause of peaceful political evolution.

      Of course China's amazing degree of freak-out about it simply drives the point home.

      I'm a bit curious about the reasoning of the various countries that are "not attending" though -- which ones did it to curry political favor with China (at little perceived cost), and which ones did it because they're also busy killing/imprisoning anybody who makes a stand for democratic freedoms...?

    • Re:Consequences (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @12:08AM (#34483226)
      The Peace Prize has ALWAYS been political. Five years after it was first awarded (1906), Teddy Roosevelt got one for essentially bullying Japan into accepting worse terms than they should have after winning the Russo-Japanese War. 1973, Henry Kissinger got a Peace Prize essentially for just quitting a war. There's probably more, but that's
      • by gman003 (1693318)
        Dammit, pressed submit early.

        The Peace Prize has ALWAYS been political. Five years after it was first awarded (1906), Teddy Roosevelt got one for essentially bullying Japan into accepting worse terms than they should have after winning the Russo-Japanese War. 1973, Henry Kissinger got a Peace Prize essentially for just quitting a war. There's probably more, but that's all I can point out off the top of my head.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      it is impossible to award a peace prize that isn't political. the process of peace is inherently about human conflict and the resolution of that conflict. that very process is called politics. you cannot separate the concept of politics and the concept of peace, making peace is nothing more than good politics, by definition

      in other words, the more contentious and disputed the peace prize, the more valid the peace prize. because interests vested against a peace will be angered at the symbolism in the prize.

    • The Peace Prize was given to "Obama" for getting elected.
      The USA electing a black opposition President in the time of Bush is a historical accomplishment;
      the Peace Prize is yours too if you voted for him. It was like awarding the US the Peace Prize.

      I see where you're coming from, but I view the Peace Prize as something really grand. Something that deserves to be capitalized.
      So grand, that since it was awarded to Obama, when it was awarded, then that must mean it was intended for all of us who

  • a good flex (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mordie (1943326) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @11:23PM (#34482888)
    it would appear that china is starting to flex a little more of that intimidating political Muscle it has, just to see who would fall in line with said flexing, when you are a nation close to a nation like china you can hardly argue if you want to keep trading with that nation. and avoid being invaded by a large military force that makes even the American military stop and say "hang on these guys have got some big guns", last time i checked china isn’t exactly a forgiving kind of nation.
  • Reuters seems to think the 'consequences' are of an economic nature, pointing out that half of the countries with economies that gained global influence during recent times are boycotting the ceremony (with Brazil and India still attending).

    With China and other foreign countries holding more that half of the US debt, such a development should put the US on notice. It appears that those countries that 'boycotted' the ceremonies have seen the writing on the wall: China matters, and matters big time.

    Over in these United States, our politicians keep bickering about how to 'handle' the massive deficit all the while making it worse with every regime/administration.

    Sad indeed. Just the other month, China and Russia plotted to dump the US currency. [ibtimes.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > With China and other foreign countries holding more that half of the US debt

      The US has a lot of debt, and China owns a lot of that, but it's not half. Wikipedia has a fairly elaborate breakdown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_debt [wikipedia.org]

      Of a total 13.56 trillion dollars of debt, 9 trillion is publicly held (the rest is debt different parts of the government owe other parts of the government). 4 trillion is held by foreigners. 847 billion is held by China - just a little more than Japan. That's six percent. I

  • This would cause even more drama. I can't wait until that happens... Though his rape charges may prevent him from getting the prize.
    • by ChipMonk (711367)
      Yeah, too bad they couldn't give Assange the prize before the accusations crawled out of the woodwork, like they did with Gore.
    • by couchslug (175151)

      Doing things many people consider good, and displaying physical couragem in no way, at all conflict with attention whoring.

  • by ChipMonk (711367) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @12:10AM (#34483238) Journal
    Of the 18 countries that turned down the invite, I don't know enough about Columbia, the Philippines, Tunisia, or Morocco. OTOH, the rest have fairly poor reputations for their treatment of dissidents. It isn't difficult to see why they wouldn't want to be seen at this year's ceremony.
    • by JSBiff (87824)

      I don't think Columbia, and the other three you mentioned are particularly bad countries, I suspect mostly they are too small and dependent on China to risk reprisals. But I agree, most of the rest in the list seem a bit like a brotherhood of dictators. Good to see all the autocrats standing together.

  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Wednesday December 08, 2010 @12:35AM (#34483392) Homepage Journal

    When they voted to give Obama the prize after three weeks in office.

    LK

  • If they wanted to give it to Chinese dissident, give it to one who actually deserves it.

    Human rights are a worthy cause, but if anything, the reforms Xiaobo advocates could result in even more restrictions on human rights- not just through the Communist party clamping down, but rather through the horrendous consequences if people actually listened to him: there was an excellent editorial in the NYTimes today discussing this point.

    Xiaobo has had some wonderful ideas, and Charter 08 was pretty cool as far as

  • To be honest, a couple of decades ago I was among those who thought that by helping China to modernize (meaning capitalize), that it would inevitably lead to a more open and pluralistic society. Oh well.

    I'm not saying it couldn't yet happen, and I'm not suggesting that confrontation would have been a better choice, but it is disappointing to see them still resorting to nonsense like this at this point in our engagement.

    This is how a Burma, North Korea, or Iran act--not a great power.
  • I find the very concept of a peace prize, and a ceremony after presentation disturbing. Those who deserves, doesn't care for the prize. Those who care, aren't peaceful.

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