China to award its own peace prize to rival Nobel

by bharathi 2010-12-08 15:38:39

China to award its own peace prize to rival Nobel

Only three weeks after the idea was first publicly floated, China has cobbled together its own peace prize and plans to award it Thursday -- the day before the Nobel Committee honors an imprisoned Chinese dissident in a move that has enraged Beijing.

Since Liu Xiaobo's selection, China has vilified the 54-year-old democracy advocate, called the choice an effort by the West to contain its rise, disparaged his supporters as "clowns," and launched a campaign to persuade countries not to attend Friday's ceremony in Oslo. The government is also preventing Liu -- who is serving an 11-year sentence for co-authoring a bold appeal for political reforms in the Communist country -- and his family members from attending.

Amid the flurry of action came a commentary published on Nov. 17 in a Communist Party-approved tabloid that suggested China create its own award -- the "Confucius Peace Prize" -- to counter the choice of Liu.

Three weeks later, The Associated Press has learned, China is doing just that.

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