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Naturally: Jimmy Carter Among Nominees for China’s First ‘Peace Prize’

By Doug Powers  •  December 7, 2010 11:50 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

The Chinese government isn’t too happy with the Nobel Peace Prize recipient this year:

Since Liu Xiaobo’s selection, China has vilified the 54-year-old democracy advocate, called the choice an effort by the West to contain its rise, disparaged his supporters as “clowns,” and launched a campaign to persuade countries not to attend Friday’s ceremony in Oslo. The government is also preventing Liu — who is serving an 11-year sentence for co-authoring a bold appeal for political reforms in the Communist country — and his family members from attending.

To retaliate against the unfairness, the country that is holding the Nobel Peace Prize winner in prison decided to offer their own peace prize — I’m calling it the “Golden Mao”:

Amid the flurry of action came a commentary published on Nov. 17 in a Communist Party-approved tabloid that suggested China create its own award the “Confucius Peace Prize” — to counter the choice of Liu.

Three weeks later, The Associated Press has learned, China is doing just that.
The first honoree is Lien Chan, Taiwan’s former vice president and the honorary chairman of its Nationalist Party, for having “built a bridge of peace between the mainland and Taiwan.”

Who were the other nominees for the Golden Mao (also affectionately referred to as the “Zedonger”)? Think “Nobel” any other year:

billionaire Bill Gates, former South African President Nelson Mandela, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the Panchen Lama, the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism.

While China regularly disparages the Dalai Lama, the religion’s spiritual leader, the current Panchen Lama is a 20-year-old who was hand-picked by Beijing.

Somewhere out there, Al Gore is staring at his phone wondering why he didn’t get a phone call from Beijing this week.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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