Correcting the “wrong” with the Nobel Peace Prize

BEIJING—“China has made huge economic and social progress over the last decades. The standard of living has improved in step with these developments, and the Chinese people have gained greater individual freedom,” the BBC quoted Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg in his reaction to the nobel peace prize award to a Chinese man guilty of violating the law of the land.

The report further quoted Stoltenberg as saying, “there are still challenges that need to be addressed with regard to several universal human rights.”

Truth be told; No one argues that China does not have some issues to solve in its internal affairs, but using the nobel peace prize in a bid to push certain reforms in the country only helps to derail the real intention of Mr. Alfred Nobel’s vision of the world.

Mr. Nobel’s wishes were that the Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to people who promote national harmony and international friendship, who promote disarmament and peace.

Awarding the Nobel peace prize to a man in prison that “violated Chinese law” in the words of the Chinese Foreign Ministry is “a complete violation of the principles of the prize and an insult to the Peace Prize itself…”

Going back to what the Norwegian Prime Minister pointed out, China has definitely made huge economic and social progress over the last decades. The standard of living has been improved with nearly over five hundred million people taken out of poverty, and the Chinese people have gained greater individual freedom. One will not therefore be wrong to say that in the so-called bid to push for human rights reforms in China by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee – which evidently points to one of the committee’s motives for deciding to award the prize to Liu Xiaobo, the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize committee should have rather considered the strides made so far by China in giving increasingly individual freedom to the people, the contributions of China in world peace, the humanitarian works of China around the globe and China’s consistency in opting for world peace as evidenced by China’s calls for dialogue in issues such as the Iranian nuclear weapons, ongoing US-South Korean joint naval military drills in Korean waters, and China’s vehement opposition to the war in Korean peninsula, Iran, and Iraq. These are issues that Britain and the United States quickly opted for sanctions and in other instances directly opting for war.

The point here is this: China’s history is changing. The leaders are working hard. Individual freedom has increased, poverty is being drastically reduced, lives are changed in the country and China now has the second largest economy in the world. The country continues to oppose measures that could destroy peace in the world; and today, China is heavily involved in carrying humanitarian actions around the globe. Based on these, the Nobel Peace Prize committee will have thought of, and eventually chose the leadership of China or even China as a nation for the award as a means of recognizing the efforts put forth by “New” China in the area of peace, freedom and global cooperation with the rest of the world. Few decades ago, China was not what it is today. The choice for the Chinese leadership or China as a nation should have served as an honest recognition that even though there might still be more to be done, China is doing well and deserves to be encouraged in its social, economic and political spheres.

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