China will bestow its own peace prize in Beijing on Thursday, the day
before the Nobel Prize is awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The "Confucius Peace Prize"—which was invented this year—will go to former Taiwan Vice President Lien Chan, reports Reuters.
Other contenders for the Confucius Prize included Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas, former South African President Nelson Mandela,
Microsoft's Bill Gates, Chinese poet Qiao Damo, and the Pachen Lama
(second in command to the Dalai Lama), appointed by China. Chan won out,
however, because he "built a bridge of peace between Taiwan and the
mainland," said a statement announcing the prize. "It is a kind of
peaceful response to the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize and ... explains the
Chinese people's views of peace." The Chinese government has been fuming
ever since the Nobel Prize committee chose to award its Peace Prize to
Xiaobo, who is currently jailed in China. Neither Xiaobo nor his wife
(who is under house arrest) will attend the Nobel ceremony on Friday.
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