Friday, December 10, 2010

A 'War' over Nobel 'Peace' Price - China Vs the Rest

Past weeks were really excellent, full of news and thrillers just like watching the next version of "Pirate of The Caribbean". When the hangover of 1.76 lack crore Spectrum scam was over, we got 35,000 crore UP Food Grain Scam (low in numbers but still Indians may be able to adjust with this - Any way next scam will not take much time to come to surface). Reporters may be wondering what they will call for the new scam as many of the heavy weight words are already used. Adopting some practices from history many not be a bad idea like naming the scams like Spectrum Scam II, Fodder Scam II, Telecom scam II etc. When the chilling effect of Radia tapes was over we got the boxing letters of Rajeev Chandrashekhar Vs Ratan Tata. And of course the now famous Cablegage.

Apart from this one more interesting drama is playing in the half closed streets of International diplomacy and economic muscle flexing. This drama started with the announcement of Nobel peace prize- 2010 to Liu Xiaobo. According to Nobel prize committee this prize is awarded to him "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China", but the Chinese version is entirely opposite. This is already proved to be a action which the new resurgent China can no longer digest.

As December 10(day for distributing the Nobel peace Prize) is approaching, matters are becoming more and more complex. Usually invitations to attend the Nobel price distribution ceremony will be sent to 65 nations who have embassies in Oslo. As China is taken this years ceremony as a prestigious issue, there attempt is to create as much vacant seats in the distribution ceremony. As of Thursday 45 countries had notified the Nobel committee that they will be sending representatives(This includes India also) and 19 countries will not send their representatives (Other than China the list includes Afghanistan, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sudan, Tunisia, Venezuela, Vietnam etc).

It is already reported that foreign television broadcasts in China have repeatedly gone dark when some thing related to Nobel Peace Price comes up in these channels. Chinese also introduced their own peace price and declared Lien Chan as the winner (A China friendly Taiwanese politician) - it is another matter that this person didn't turned up during the ceremony and prize committee finally gave it to a young girl.

What China is trying to achieve by these actions? As long as they remain as an economic and military power, it may not be a difficult thing to bend other nations views and make them fall in line. It is an open secret that unlike in the west, Asian and other countries usually don't will not mix human rights with that of Diplomacy -  unless these activities are a source of fear for them.

But if china continues to force other nations to take decisions in China's favour this may not be the case. As China become more and more assertive temperature is rising in its borders not only with India, but also with Japan, Vietnam etc. Moreover Chinese economy is an export oriented one - producing much more than they could actually consume, in other words they need other countries to buy them up. In a globalized world countries are interdependent on one another. An economic stimulus to over come the recession may work in the short term but it have its own limits and no country can grow at the rate 10% for ever.

There is also a pre-planned leadership change in China in 2012. If this incident is a litmus test of the coming leader ship then we can anticipate a lot more fire works. A sustained economic growth may act as a complimentary for democracy in short term but it will not offer any long term guarantee.

Instead of forcing other nations to boycott the Nobel peace Prize ceremony, by putting the bilateral relation in between - its high time for Chinese leadership to sit down and think about the future to draw a growth path for Middle Kingdom which includes - human rights and Democracy. We can only hope that this will happen.


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