Vladimir Putin has won this years “Confucius Peace Prize” from a group of Chinese academics, reports the AFP.
The award is the Chinese equivalent of a Nobel Peace Prize, emerging, coincidentally we guess, last year (as the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel).
The very nature of the prize (and the timing of its formation) has led some to wonder if it was created by the Chinese government — thought an apparent attempt by the government to shut it down in September means the whole story gets a lot more confusing.
The choice of Putin may lead many confused as well. Here’s a few reasons off the top of our head:
- His inevitable return to the presidency next year will no doubt lead some to wonder about his commitment to democracy.
- The widespread death and imprisonment of dissidents in modern Russia.
- The reports of a so-called “Berlin Group” conducting international assassinations.
- The Russian involvement in the second Chechen war, by many accounts one of the most brutal wars of the 20th century.
Even Russia seems a little confused by the prize. According to the AFP reports, the embassy has not given a response at the time of writing. Last year’s winner, former Taiwanese Vice President Lien Chan, apparently failed to attend the ceremony, and the prize was given to an unnamed young girl.
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