An empty chair cast a powerfully symbolic spell over the assembled guests attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo last night, the recipient, Liu Xiaobo remains a prisoner, vilified by China’s regime as a criminal, charged with subverting the state. Diplomats, exposed as servile and cynical, appeased the Chinese government, which fumes still over the award; reacting predictably with toxic rhetoric, veiled threats and exploiting the economic dependency of nations towards China.
Thankfully the majority of those invited attended, however 18 countries were not represented at the ceremony, along with the significant absence of European Union foreign relations chief Ms. Catherine Ashton and Ms. Navanethem Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. It seems that both these persons had other engagements or not been invited!
Apart from exerting economic levers China’s regime also sought to establish an alternative ‘peace prize’, made in its own distorted propaganda image, named the Confucius Award it proved a chaotic affair that quickly descended into a bizarre comedy, when its supposed ‘winner’, Honorary Chairman of Taiwan’s Kuomintang, Mr Lien Chen, was neither informed about his selection, or available to receive it! Organizers chose to present the award to a young girl dubbed an ‘Angel Of Peace’. The event was a public relations disaster and China’s Foreign Ministry was quick to distance itself, publicly at least.
China’s insane and puerile reaction to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, its censorship of media channels reporting the ceremony, its bullying and exploitation of nations to forego the ceremony, reveal a totalitarian regime that despite its experiments with the dubious benefits of Freidman’s economic ideology, remains psychotically opposed to basic freedoms. While bodies such as the European Union and United Nations have displayed a nauseating appeasement, and craven economic subservience towards China, that has trampled with callous indifference over the principles of liberty and free speech. Such bodies have by their cynical action removed at a stroke any moral authority, they may appear to have possessed, to present themselves as genuine defenders of human rights.