Tuesday, October 7, 2008

China Applies Pressure on Nobel Peace Prize Selection

The Chinese Government has issued a statement directed at the Nobel Peace Prize Selection Committee expressing grave concern that a number of Imprisoned Chinese Dissidents, including Hu Jia and Gao Zhisheng, are on the short list for the prestigious award that has in the past gone to such figures as Nelson Mandela and The Dalai Lama. China still regards the selection of the Dalai Lama 19 years ago as a disaster.

I taught school in China, and the students there are led to believe that the Dalai Lama is a cult-leader who promotes violence. A number of young Chinese students compared him to David Koresh, the Branch Davidian leader. Connecting the dots, its not hard to see that no holds are barred in Chinese propaganda.

Stein Toennesson, head of The Peace Research Institute in Oslo, responded to the pressure by criticizing the Chinese Government's failure to implement promised civil liberty reforms ahead of the Olympics. He pointed out that, in fact, the Communist Party had introduced new, extreme, and insidious security measures.

Another of the more than 200 named contenders for this year's prize is Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Zimbabwean Opposition to Robert Mugabe's remarkably oppressive government. The Chinese Government's arms sale to Zimbabwe, at the height of a brutal crackdown, sparked international outrage.

Thank you to Stefan Landsberger for his excellent presentation of Chinese Propaganda posters. The caption to the poster, printed in 1986, reads: "Study Dilligently, Observe Discipline."