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Financial Times Deutschland, Germany

A Nobel Peace Prize About More than Good Intentions

 

Once again, the Nobel Prize Committee has made a very political decision, albeit a significantly better one than Barack Obama's award last year. In choosing Liu Xiabao, the Committee honors a man who has risked everything for his convictions. His fate reminds us that not every revolution of 1989 succeeded.

 

By David Bocking

 

Translated By Stephanie Martin

 

October 10, 2010

 

Germany - Financial Times Deutschland - Original Article (German)

They all would have been shown again:the people on the Wall, at the fallen border crossing with black-red-gold flags. If former Chancellor Helmut Kohl - about whom there had been repeated speculation - had received the Nobel Peace Prize for the German reunification, all the euphoric images from November 1989 would have been brought out again.

 

But the Nobel Prize Committee made a different decision. And it was a good one. In selecting Liu Xiabao, the Committee honors a man who has long confronted Chinaís communist leadership. This honor is a political signal, as it was last year when the award went to Barack Obama. But while the U.S. president was honored almost exclusively for intentions, Liu has paid a high personal price for his beliefs and actions for many years. In 1989 he was one of the leaders of the student protests at Tienanmen Square. Just five months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Chinese citizens dared to criticize the lack of freedom in their country.

 

In contrast to the peaceful revolution in the German Democratic Republic [East Germany], protesters in China were literally mowed down by tanks. An unknown number of people died that day and there followed a wave of arrests in which Liu also fell victim. While East and West Germans were embracing each other, China's political opposition feared for their lives.Of course, Oslo could also have honored the successful German revolution, in which case an East German civil rights activist would have deserved the prize at least as much as Helmut Kohl. But especially now, remembering the Chinese revolution sends a stronger signal.††

 

Chinaís emergence as a world super power is increasingly apparent, whether it be in the current monetary dispute, trade disputes or the battle for future raw material supplies. This emergence is a fact that Western countries are slowly adjusting to, and to which they must adjust whether they like it or not. In the process, it is imperative at times that they abandon their superior attitude toward the previously developing country.

 

Awarding Liu the Nobel Prize has nothing to do with Western arrogance. Politically, China remains a developing nation, a fact that was demonstrated most recently by Liuís re-imprisonment at the end of last year. If Beijing - at events like the recent summit with E.U. nations, for example - seeks more recognition as an industrialized nation, then it must also submit to criticism of its domestic polices.

 

Chinaís outraged response to Liuís selection - the government in Beijing called him a criminal who didn't deserve the prize - shows that the Chinese leadership still isn't ready for this type of criticism. The strong support of Liu's selection on the part of other countries - Germany, among others - offers hope that the West will spare no one from this type of criticism - not even China.

 

 

SEE ALSO ON THIS:      

Global Times,. China: The Nobel Peace Prize is Biased Toward the West  

Kitabat, Iraq: Barack Obama Ö Bird of Peace!  

El Universal, Venezuela: 'Peace Prize' Winner Should Close All U.S. Military Bases    

Kitabat, Iraq: Barack Obama ... Bird of Peace!  

Dagens Nyheter, Sweden: The Norwegians 'Got Carried Away' with Obama    

Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace, France: Peace Prize Could Cripple Young President  

Le Monde, France: One Must Not Misinterpret Obama's Nobel!

Le Temps, Switzerland: Has Nobel Committee 'Fallen on its Head?'

Corriere della Sera, Italy: Is Obama's Nobel Just to Repudiate George W. Bush?    

Sato, Portugal: President Obama's Nobel - Can He Fulfill World's Expectations?    

Rue 89, France: Nobel 2009: Obama a (Premature) Icon of Peace    

Kayan, Iran: 'Traitorous African Murderer' Wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize!    

Estadao, Brazil: Obama's Nobel Won't Help Him Fight Wars    

Zaman, Turkey: Turks Agree: Obama's Nobel Reflects Hope, Not Action    

Der Spiegel, Germany: For Barack Obama, Nobel Prize More of a Burden than an Honor    

Frankfurter Allgemeine, Germany: Nobel Prize Winners May Have to Settle for Less ...  

The Times, U.K.: 'Absurd Decision' on Obama Makes Mockery of Nobel Peace Prize  

The Times, U.K.: 'Pointless' Nobel Reveals How Obama is Lost in His own Mystique    

The Hindustan Times, India: EDITORIAL: Nobel Committee Wins an Obama    

Times of India, India: EDITORIAL: Decoding Obama's Nobel Prize    

The Hindu, India: The Nobel and the Audacity of Hope-Giving  

India Today, India: [Indian] People's Verdict: Obama Not 'Nobel' Enough  

NTV Kenya Video: 'Yes He Can and Yes He Did' Win the Nobel Prize 

Russia Today Video: Nobel Peace Prize for Obama a 'Big Mistake'  

CBC Canada Video: Canada's Nightly News Covers Obama's Nobel Prize Win

France 24 Video: Does Barack Obama Deserve Nobel Peace Prize?  

BBC News Audio: IAEA Chief ElBaradei Says 'No One More Worthy' than Obama    

BBC News Video: After Mandela and Tutu, South Africans Applaud Obama Nobel Victory  

BBC News Video: Israeli President Peres Praises Nobel Prize for Obama  

 

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