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Old 12-10-2010, 06:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo

This year's peace prize is going to Liu Xiaobo for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China". Liu is a chinese peace activist and writer who currently sits in jail for signing a suggested alteration for the chinese constitution, or something along those lines.

A lot has happened since the announcement. The relationship between Norway and China has become considerably more chilly. President Obama has said that Liu is a more worthy winner than he was and personally requested that Liu is released from prison. The wish has of course not been granted and while I'm writing, the award ceremony is on the telly and Liu's chair is empty. In China, activists supporting the nobel peace prize have been arrested.

What do you guys think about it? Is Liu a worthy winner?


Personally, I strongly support it and I think this peace prize is extremely important. China is an economic super power growing by the day. Yet, it is a country where people are afraid to utter opinions about the government and the political system. It's a country where people can get arrested and disappear under suspicious circumstances. I hope that nobel prize will help stir the political status quo which will hopefully lead to changes in the future.

On the flip side of things, it has chilled the political relationship between nations ever so slightly, perhaps particularly the old west vs. east. China requested that countries boycott the ceremony. In addition to China, Russia are also boycotting it, so these communist super powers of old are in agreement over this. Additional boycotters Kazakhstan, Colombia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Serbia, Iraq , Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ukraine, Cuba and Morocco. This is according to New York Times.

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I read an article on it last night, it's a little disturbing how much of a negative reaction it has garnered.

Personally, I think that the Peace Prize is well deserved, regardless, perhaps almost because, of his current status as a prisoner. It is certainly not unusual for the Chinese Government to "detain" those who they feel are dissidents, which seems to include anyone who speaks out against them regarding anything. The fact that people have mysteriously disappeared at an even greater rate than is normal for China is just another piece of evidence against them. As the BBC article I read said, this Prize highlights the fact that regardless of economic growth and success, Human Rights must also be considered, which seems to be an area in which China is woefully lacking. the fact that they called upon their allies to boycott the event simply goes to show how much they realise this, and are determined not to cave to external pressure.

I do sometimes feel that there is a limit to how much other countries can meddle in the affairs of others, but I feel that this is definitely inside the limits. However, I don't know how well it was executed, or whether it's actually a good idea. Liu is definitely a worthy winner, but wouldn't it be a little difficult to swallow the irony if the attempt to deliver a Peace Prize resulted in a catastrophic war? This is not the first situation that has caused tension with China in recent years; the clashing of Chinese and American boats in the Pacific, for one, shows that further aggravation of the country might not be the best avenue of approach right now. Further, with tensions escalating between North and South Korea, the world is essentially relying on China to keep a lid on N. Korea, as their closest ally. However, if China is pissed off with the western world, they might change their minds regarding helping prevent a war.

This is not to say that I don't think the Peace Prize should have been given, I just think that a) this might not have been the time to do it and b) that there might have been a more tactful way to do it than announcing it to the world, though that said I cannot comment on their execution, since I have no clue what was done behind closed doors.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
This is not to say that I don't think the Peace Prize should have been given, I just think that a) this might not have been the time to do it and b) that there might have been a more tactful way to do it than announcing it to the world, though that said I cannot comment on their execution, since I have no clue what was done behind closed doors.
I can't think of a better way or opportunity for the world to take a stance on humanitarian issues, really. The nobel prize has a long tradition, the committee which decides the winner is supposed to be independent of nations (although China has a hard time accepting this) and the prize was awarded a chinese person rather than directly pointing the dfinger at the chinese government. Announcing it to the world makes all players in the game very visible. Let's say China went to war over this, how would they define a reason? They go to war because a chinese person won the peace prize? Considering the committee is supposed to be independent, what country should they attack?

Of course there's going to be some conflict, it's hard to criticize a nation without that happening - and when you take that into consideration, the peace prize seems like a good way to me.

edit :

Also, this way of doing it really empowers the peace activists within China in a way that I think would be hard to achieve otherwise. The world shows them support.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think it'll be the direct cause of a war, I just worry that it is not helping current international tension. Regardless, as I said I'm happy that it was given, I was just expressing how this could have unintended consequences. The road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions, after all. As for what reason they'd give... I think China have proved pretty effectively that they don't really care for reasons, and those that they give for anything currently surrounding this debacle haven't exactly been solid.

"We're giving a chinese person a Nobel Peace Prize!"
"WHAT?! Take that back, he's a prisoner and a criminal!"
"Oh really, why?"
"For standing up to us and attempting to assert a modicum of Rights for everyone in our country!"
"Well, that's kinda one of the things we give the Peace Prize for, you know? Helping humanity to move on from oppression and violence into an age of equality and universal Human Rights"
"If you do this, we'll get everyone to Boycott you!"

Yeah, I'm sure you understand. I'd love to be able to say "Who cares, it's for the greater good, if there's going to be a conflict it's best to get it out there in a peaceful way", but the problem is, all it takes is one trigger happy person with a nuke, and this wonderful blue planet is royally screwed. I'm not saying we lie down and let them run all over us, but this is dangerous territory, and it's something the world hasn't dealt with outside of the Cold War, and people were pretty paranoid during the Cold War. How many more nations have Nuclear Weapons now? It's a scary proposition, and as a race, I don't think we're mature enough not to retaliate, and I can see the end of the world as we know it starting from the tiniest, most benign decision all too easily.

/end dramatic exaggeration
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I get what you're saying and butting into others business/criticizing countries, even for the greater good like world peace, is a bit of a balancing act. To me, this is not tipping the scales too much, but I certainly get the argument and the worry.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Mm, well I hope for the sake of all of us that you're right, and I'm being paranoid! On another note, it'd be interesting if someone else were to discover this thread so that we can stop restating our opinions :P
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Cool story bro.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Could be worse. I mean, Jimmy Freaking Carter won one year.
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