CHINA / SOCIETY
Rubio uses Nobel to build up political capital, departs from peace prize's original intention
Published: Feb 04, 2021 08:52 PM

US Republican Senator Marco Rubio File Photo: VCG

US Senator Marco Rubio and Representative James McGovern, some leading bipartisan lawmakers, have nominated participants of Hong Kong's months-long social unrest for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, an old trick that has been played by some Western forces for four consecutive years - playing the Hong Kong card for their personal interests in the name of "pro-democracy."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that these politicians, who meddled in China's internal affairs and backed the rioters in Hong Kong, would only harm the US' reputation. "The Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to those who have truly made contributions to maintaining and promoting world peace and development," spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at the routine press conference.  

The nine US politicians who nominated Hong Kong rioters described them as pro-democracy forces who were struggling for human rights, ignoring that they had burned Molotov cocktails and vandalized stores. 

The Global Times found that 2021 is the fourth year in which some Western politicians played the Hong Kong card over the Nobel Peace Prize, when some US lawmakers nominated riot leaders including Joshua Wong.

Guri Melby, a Norwegian Liberal Party politician, nominated "the people of Hong Kong" for the prize in 2019. Rubio and McGovern nominated the Hong Kong "pro-democracy" movement in 2020. In 2021, the US lawmakers staged a comeback. Two Norwegian politicians also nominated a Hong Kong riot leader Martin Lee for the prize this year.

Governments, lawmakers, academics and international judges have the right to nominate anyone they want as candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize. There are so many people who can make nominations, and the nomination process is so casual, that the Peace Prize itself has become a stage for political manipulation with the camouflage of "democracy" and "human rights," and China is frequently the target for some Western politicians, analysts said. 

Rubio has been sanctioned by China, and he put that fact in his Twitter profile as a badge of honor, which is enough to demonstrate that the US politician is using China to accumulate political capital and build his own image, they said. 

Some US politicians try to undermine the legitimacy of China's ruling party by slandering governance in Hong Kong with all means, and the Nobel Peace Prize cannot avoid becoming their tool, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

"The nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize have become more and more ludicrous with many deemed reprehensible making the list, such as Jared Kushner and his father-in-law Donald Trump," Li said, noting that there is a problem of authority in the nominating process. 

Li also mentioned the nomination of Lee by two "nobody" Norwegian lawmakers, who gained attention through the nomination. 

The Peace Prize is diverging from Alfred Nobel's original expectation for peace, tolerance and unity, which is similar to the US, which is so divided and has departed far from the vision of the nation's founders.


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