China Pressures 18 Countries to Skip Nobel Ceremony
Witness the rising power of China: Nineteen countries will skip this week’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, which will honor jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
Liu’s selection for the prestigious prize has infuriated China, which claims the West is trying to undermine the Communist Party’s rule over the country of 1.3 billion people.
The countries besides China that have opted out of the ceremony in Oslo, Norway are: Afghanistan, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sudan, Tunisia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Vietnam. It is no coincidence that all of these nations are either geographically close or economically dependent upon China, or both.
Beijing has announced that it will award its own peace prize, named after the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, the day before the Nobel ceremony. The winner? A Taiwanese politician who worked for closer ties with the mainland. He will take home $15,000, compared to the $1.5 million that will be awarded to Liu Xiaobo.
Liu will not be able to collect his prize or the money, however, as he is a political prisoner in his homeland. His wife has been under house arrest as well; this will mark the first time since 1936 that the prize will not be personally handed over to either the winner or a member of their family.