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Confucius Peace Prize: China's wannabe Nobel Peace Prize news
09 December 2010

A group of Chinese professors has launched the Confucius Peace Prize, which comes in the wake of the Nobel committee' s decision to make Chinese dissident Liu, 54 its first mainland Chinese laureate.

The Nobel committee's decision has angered the Chinese government which has dismissed the committee as a bunch of clowns staging an anti-China farce.

The Confucius prize, says the website of the new award, is a "greater honour than the Nobel", as China has upward of a billion people while Norway is tiny and its committee ''could be inevitably biased and fallacious''.

At least 18 countries have pulled out of the Nobel ceremony after the Chinese government threatened them with ''consequences" if they took part.

In a response, Nobel committee chairman, Geir Lundestad, has pointed out that the Nobel Prize had also come under attack from Hitler's Germany and the Soviet Union.

According to Tan Changliu, chairman of the committee for the Confucius prize, it was not a government body but had worked closely with the Culture ministry.

The Chinese state media has not yet made any mention of the prize and it remains unclear as to how much official backing is there for the prize.

Though those nominated for the prize included Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates and the 11th Panchen Lama, the first prize has gone to Lien Chan, the former vice president of Taiwan, who ''built a bridge between the mainland and Taiwan", the committee said.

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Confucius Peace Prize: China's wannabe Nobel Peace Prize