Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chinese Nobel Prize Complex

Mr. Liu Xiaobo
The up-and-coming China and Chinese people are so proud of themselves and eager to prove that they are successful, that they crave to be in all the elite clubs and have celebrated admission to each -- from nuclear weapons, first Olympian champion, first astronauts, their first hosting of Olympic Game and World Expo -- except for one, which is a curious case.

China and the Chinese people have longed for a Chinese citizen to win a Nobel prize for a long time. In the past, several winners were of Chinese descent, but most of them were citizens of other countries, including the 2000 Literary Laureate, Mr. Gao Xingjiang, who wrote in Chinese but was French citizen. Most interestingly, even though China and most Han Chinese people fervently claimed that Tibet is inseparable part of China, they didn't count the 1989 Peace Prize winner Dalai Lama as Chinese Laureate. The Dalai Lama has no citizenship other than Chinese. He doesn’t travel on any passport, instead relying on papers that give his status as a refugee.

In recent years, Chinese media reported Nobel Prize winners with great fanfare as they were announced
. This year, after reporting prizes in Physics, Medicine, and Chemistry, they suddenly went mum. When the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 was announced, recognizing the jailed Chinese dissent, Liu Xiaobo, "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China", the Chinese media reported nothing. Relevant segments from CNN, NHK and BBC broadcasts were blackened out as well. The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize had apparently been "harmonized", as cynical Chinese citizens would call it. To build a harmonious society is the predominant slogan championed by Chinese government. On surface, it promotes equality. In reality, it is used as an excuse to stamp out opposition and dissent of all kinds.

To make the whole episode in China more farcical, the Chinese government warned the Norwegian government before the award was announced, and protested afterwards, in an attempt to bully the Norwegian government into intervening to prevent the Nobel Foundation from awarding the Peace prize to Mr. Liu. The concept of an independent organization apparently doesn't exist there.

Jingwei Filling Up the Sea / 精衛填海 / Jingwei Ausfüllen des Meeres
Jingwei Filling Up the Sea / 精衛填海 © Matthew Felix Sun

From this myth comes the Chinese expression 精卫填海 ("Jingwei filling the sea") meaning a symbol of dogged determination and perseverance in the face of seemingly impossible odds. - Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment