Meet the Nobel Peace Prize's new rival--the Confucius Peace Prize.
Embattled China who would not yield to Western pressure to allow the Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo to receive the award, held its first-ever version of peace prize on 9 December--a day before the awarding of the Nobel in Oslo.
The first recipient of the Confucius Peace Prize is a former vice-president of TaiwanLien Chan. A surprised Chan did not attend the ceremony in Beijing saying he did not know about the award. He has yet to receive an official communication from Beijing. A six-year-old girl received the award on his behalf.
What is this new "Eastern" peace prize? What are its objectives?
Well, the Confucius Peace Prize was created in the People's Republic of China this year by a non-governmental organization. The peace prize was conceived by businessman Liu Zhiqin on 17 November.
The award exists to "promote world peace from an Eastern perspective, specifically on Confucian peace."
In an interview by CNN, the head of the awards committee said that China has a long history of peace that was influenced by Confucianism. They want to promote world peace from an Eastern point of view.
The committee head adds that Europe is full of small countries that had fought each other for centuries. They do not want to see people who do not understand peace to ruin the concept.
The awards committee is a non-government organization and is composed of a five-man team. Although they are an NGO, they had worked for the Ministry of Culture, and had funded the prize for patriotic reasons.
The winner was awarded a cash prize of $15,000.
The committee has released an obscurely worded statement on how they came up with the winner. Among the candidates were former South African President Nelson Mandela, Microsoft's Bill Gates, and a China loyalist Tibetan Buddhist leader Panchen Lama, CNN adds.
Lien Chan was chosen for his contribution in bridging the gap between Taiwan and mainland China.
The committee chair did not reveal the guest list for the event.
China vigorously campaigned for other countries not to attend the Nobel Peace Prize warning of grave "consequences" if they do.
A Chinese official said that by awarding the Nobel prize to a criminal created the 1.3 billion Chinese dissidents.
In an interview with United Daily News in Taipei, China's Minister of Culture said they have never heard of the prize for Chan until they saw it in newspapers.
Hong Kong's Ming Pao reported that the letter issued by the Committee to Chan did not bear the official seal of the Ministry.
For whatever it's worth, it is interesting to note that both ceremonies had vacant seats.
Will the new Confucius Peace Prize create a war with the Nobel Peace Prize?
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