CHINA / SOCIETY
Norwegian politicians' nomination of HK riot leader 'publicity stunt,' disgraces Nobel Prize
Published: Feb 03, 2021 09:17 PM

Photo: screenshot of Mathilde Tybring-Gjedde's Twitter account



Two Norwegian lawmakers who claimed to have nominated Martin Lee Chu-ming, one of the Hong Kong riot leaders, for the Nobel Peace Prize, were "nobodies" in international politics, and Chinese observers noted the move was one that some Western politicians customarily use to get attention. 

Such a publicity stunt only serves these individuals' own political interests and disgraces the prize, which has already suffered in the cause of political manipulation, analysts said. 

Mathilde Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Norwegian Conservative Party, said on her Twitter account on Monday that she and fellow party member Peter Frolich had nominated Lee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Lee, together with 14 other riot leaders including Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, were detained by Hong Kong police in April 2020 on suspicion of organizing and participating in an illegal assembly.

Notably, Tybring-Gjedde's father Christian Tybring-Gjedde in September 2020 nominated former US president Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for "his efforts in the Middle East," CBS News reported.

Meanwhile, Mathilde disagreed and told CBS News that she did not believe Trump was qualified to receive the prize.

The father-and-daughter "stage show" made the rounds at that time after media coverage, and now the daughter picked Lee to pull off a similar trick.

Frolich is also little known in international politics, and a search of the name returned links to Linkedin and other social media pages of people bearing the same name, in addition to a Wikipedia link and news reports on the Nobel nomination.

The two Norwegian politicians, who were little known internationally, are apparently using the nomination to craft a publicity stunt so as to expand their popularity in the political sphere and potentially help them get more votes in the future, Tian Feilong, a member of Beijing-based Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan at Nankai University, told the Global Times that these far-right politicians are damaging the rule of law and the bottom line of morality, while the Nobel Peace Prize has long been a showcase for Western prejudice and is losing credibility.

The Nobel Peace Prize does not have any limitation on the number of people nominated, and those who make the nominations and those who receive them tend to collude for "win-win" results, making the nomination a "trade" rather than a prize, Li said. 

Through such political manipulation, the Nobel Peace Prize and many similar awards have become Western politicians' tools to get attention by provoking China, the analyst said.


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