Because his family members are under tight surveillance, no-one is available to collect Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize at the ceremony in Norway. As a result, the ceremony may be canceled all together. And even it is held, several countries have said they will not attend after being pressured and threatened by the Chinese government. From AP:
Outraged by the award, Beijing has reportedly clamped down on Liu’s relatives and pressured other countries not to send representatives to the Dec. 10 award ceremony in Oslo.
Ambassadors from Russia, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Iraq have all declined invitations to the ceremony but didn’t specify the reasons, Geir Lundestad, secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee told The Associated Press on Thursday.
“For an embassy to actively try to persuade other embassies to not participate in the ceremony is something new,” Lundestad said.
The prestigious 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) award can only be collected by the laureate or close family members.
Liu, a Chinese dissident, is serving an 11-year sentence for subversion after co-authoring an appeal calling for reforms to China’s one-party political system. His wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest and subject to police escort since the award was announced last month.
Meanwhile, Global Times has announced a soft power initiative to offer an alternative to the Nobel Prize, which does not “hurt the feelings” of the Chinese people:
The Nobel Peace Prize Committee won Liu Xiaobo while losing the trust of 1.3 billion Chinese people. They support a criminal while creating 1.3 billion “dissidents” that are dissatisfied with the Nobel Committee, which is definitely a bad decision.
…We often stress the need to fight for the right to speak. In fact, this is a good opportunity and China’s civil society should consider setting up a “Confucius Peace Prize,” launching the evaluation and selection and finding the real Peace Prize winners from all over the world.
This is the best opportunity for the Chinese to declare China’s view in peace and human rights to the world.
Through such evaluation and selection, people around the world can have the most direct, sensible and comparative opportunity to observe, analyze and understand the Eastern and Western values.