The Confucius Peace Prize was awarded to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. This prize was introduced last year two days before Liu Xiaobo received the Nobel Peace Prize. Although there were claims that the Confucius Peace Prize was not associated with the government, it has been revealed that the prize was set up by an association that was overseen by the Ministry of Culture. The Telegraph reports:
Mr Putin beat other candidates such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Yuan Longping, a Chinese agricultural scientist, to nab this year’s “Confucius Peace Prize”, Qiao Damo, one of the organisers, said.
“This April or May, Putin was against Nato’s idea to bomb Libya and he appeared to the world in a peaceful manner,” Qiao explained.
“This year’s peace prize was given to him because his act this year was outstanding in keeping world peace.”
Last year, the prize was awarded to Lien Chan, a Taiwanese politican, who did not claim the prize. It is still uncertain whether Putin will attend the ceremony. The New York Times adds:
“The committee has already notified the Russian Embassy in Beijing,” Mr. Qiao said. “The committee fully respects Mr. Putin’s decision to attend or not to attend the ceremony.”
When asked about the award on Tuesday, Dmitri S. Peskov, a spokesman for Mr. Putin, told a reporter in Moscow: “We have only heard about the award from the press. We do not know much about the prize.”
The announcement by the committee in Beijing said that since the award had only recently been founded, “it is allowed that the winner doesn’t accept and even rejects it.”
See also: Demise of the Confucius Peace Prize via CDT.