Confucius Prize could be weapon in battle of ideas

Source:Global Times Published: 2010-11-17 8:57:00

By Liu Zhiqin

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee won Liu Xiaobo while losing the trust of 1.3 billion Chinese people. They support a criminal while creating 1.3 billion "dissidents" that are dissatisfied with the Nobel Committee, which is definitely a bad decision.

However, the Chinese people's discontent or questioning will not change the prejudice of the proud and stubborn Noble Prize Committee members.

On the contrary, China's opposition could inspire their pride as heroes or sense of accomplishment because it has become the mind-set of the current Westerners that they will oppose whatever China supports and support whatever China opposes. In order to make them change their mind-set, more appropriate ways need to be adopted.

We often stress the need to fight for the right to speak. In fact, this is a good opportunity and China's civil society should consider setting up a "Confucius Peace Prize," launching the evaluation and selection and finding the real Peace Prize winners from all over the world.   

This is the best opportunity for the Chinese to declare China's view in peace and human rights to the world.

Through such evaluation and selection, people around the world can have the most direct, sensible and comparative opportunity to observe, analyze and understand the Eastern and Western values.

With China's growing economic strength, Chinese culture and ideas will also be spread.

With the establishment of "Confucius Institutes" all over the world, the ideas of Confucius are understood and accepted by more and more people throughout the world.

Against such a good background, the establishment of a worldwide "Confucius Peace Prize" will be welcome by people in different countries. Of course, this step needs the long-term accumulation of different sides, but it is essential for China to step into the world.

While carrying out "Confucius Peace Prize" selection, China can learn more things from the world, especially how people of different cultures, different religions and different political systems think, build their nations and enable their people to live and work in peace.

We should also teach Westerners how to cultivate their own spirits and kindly treat people that have different national values and lifestyles. Only in this way could China and the West really work together to create a harmonious and tolerant world.

In a recent editorial, the Global Times looked "forward to the Nobel Prize Committee that really belongs to the world." I am afraid this good wish will not be realized. At least we should not rely on the members of the Peace Prize Committee. We have suffered too much loss already.

We would rather do something within our power than expect others to change, such as establishing through civil society a "Confucius Peace Prize" Committee and inviting internationally renowned persons to join. Thus the world will surely look at China with new eyes!

The author is the Beijing chief representative of Zurich Bank, Switzerland. globaltimesopinion@

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