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China counters Nobel Peace Prize with Confucius Peace Prize

Miffed that jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, China is giving the 'Confucius Peace Prize' to former Taiwan vice-president Lien Chan.

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers demonstrate with a picture of jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong Wednesday, Dec. 8.


Kin Cheung/AP

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China will award its answer to the Nobel Peace Prize a day before it is bestowed upon jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, giving the "Confucius Peace Prize" to former Taiwan vice-president Lien Chan.

China was furious after Liu won the Nobel Peace Prize in October, saying it was an "obscenity" that it was given to a man it considers a subversive and a criminal.

The newly created Confucius prize, named after the ancient Chinese philosopher the Communist Party has recently co-opted as its own, was suggested in an opinion piece in the popular tabloid the Global Times three weeks ago.

"It is a kind of peaceful response to the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize and ... explains the Chinese people's views of peace," organizers said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

The award ceremony will take place in Beijing on Thursday, the day before Liu is formally awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Neither he nor his wife have been allowed by the Chinese government to go to Oslo. Liu's wife has been put under house arrest.

Taiwan's Lien won out over five other nominees: Nobel Peace Prize winners Mahmoud Abbas and Nelson Mandela, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Chinese poet Qiao Damo and the Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's second-most important figure.

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