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China creates its own Peace Prize 9, December 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in China.
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After Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, China led a group of nefarious countries (Russia, Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Egypt among others; hardly a democracy or human rights loving bunch) in boycotting the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony.

Yet, rather astutely, China has ‘magicked up’ their own peace prize giving ceremony under the auspices of the Confucius brand. In another clever move, not only are they giving the prize the day before the Nobel, but they are giving it to a former Vice-President of Taiwan.

He won out of an eclectic short-list of five: Mahmoud Abbas (God loves a trier), Nelson Mandela (always a favourite), Microsoft founder Bill Gates (the somewhat curious dark-horse), Chinese poet Qiao Damo (a nod to the domestic audience) and the Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama of Tibet (the stooge of Lhasa).

Interesting stuff. It seems that China is aware of the negativity surrounding this Nobel furore and is – despite their size and power which prompts some people to suggest that China does not need to care about such ‘soft’ incidents – eager to repair the damage and bolster its soft power too.

Moreover, I think that this shows an evolution in China’s grasp of PR. A few years ago, they might well have not done anything after such a fiasco or if they had, they’d have called it the ‘Chairman Mao Peace Prize’ and have given it to the Chairman himself, for he was such a peace-loving soul.



Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize: ridiculous 9, October 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
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Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What were they thinking? Obama would surely agree that he has done nothing whatsoever to deserve this prize. Plenty of fine words about nuclear weapons, the fractious US-Russian relationship and a nice speech in Cairo ought not a successful Nobel Peace Prize winner make. Action, surely, ought to be its hallmark. Indeed in this department Obama is sorely lacking, even going backwards from his Cairo speech.

The award of this prize appears to be a somewhat pathetic attempt by Norway, or rather some crazy committee there, to curry favor with America in the most craven and stupid manner. Not only will Obama be embarrassed by this award but he will be pilloried throughout the world to say nothing of the American right wing’s apoplectic reaction to this.

This is truly a foolhardy award which risks tarnishing the reputation of a noble institution for a long time to come.