The People’s Republic of China (PRC) had, in 2010, established the Confucius as a counterweight to the Nobel Peace Prize. The reasoning was that awards of the Nobel reflect a continuous drift away from Alfred Nobel’s original intent, which was to confer the prize on:
The Communist Chinese are furious that the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize had gone to Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese activist who has called for political reform in China and has therefore – surprise, surprise! – been serving an 11-year jail sentence since 2008. Ever since the 2010 Nobel award to Liu, the Chinese have been attacking the Nobel committee as “clowns staging an anti-Chinese farce.”
Vladimir Putin received the award because of his “contribution to the strengthening of Russia’s military and political power, his crushing of suppression of antigovernment resistance in Chechnya and his opposition to NATO’s intervention in Libya’s civil war.”
Putin was not on hand to receive the prize (he and his minions are currently busy suppressing Russian dissidents), but the awarding committee had given the golden statuette of Confucius to Maria and Katya, two Russian exchange students in China, who will presumably find a way to deliver it to the Great Man himself.
AP commented somewhat lamely that the justification for the award “seems slightly dubious given authoritarian trends in Putin’s policies and his reputation for jailing political rivals and cracking down on government critics.”
But isn’t that precisely the PRC’s notion of peace?