Taiwan Congratulates dissident Liu Xiaobo says the headline of an article which collects reactions to the award from the President, the KMT, and the DPP, as well as individuals. The President also called for Beijing to release Liu. Quite a turnaround for someone who spent his salad days in opposition to the growth of democracy in Taiwan.
Jottings from the Granite Studio ripped the CCP -- and took a gentle poke at the Nobel Prize Committee -- in a witty post on the prize award.
As of 8:30 this morning, the domestic media is simply repeating the official rebuke from last night and then…deafening silence. I think the idea here is “If I don’t say anything, everybody will think it was the dog who farted not me.” Always a winning PR strategy."PRC own goal" -- a goal in which you stupidly and mistakenly score against yourself, thus creating a point for the other team. I think there's a glimmer of insight I'd like to tease out here.
The fact is that the CCP doesn’t need to do this anymore. More than one commentator in the past 24 hours has referred to the debacle as a “PRC own goal.” If government hadn’t been so freaked out by Charter 08 and sentenced Liu Xiaobo to prison (on December 25, 2009 figuring that the Western world would be too deep in egg nog to care…how’s that plan working out right about now?) then the Nobel committee wouldn’t have given this guy the time of day. Not to take anything away from Liu’s obvious set of large brass ones or his and his family’s sacrifice, but this Prize is as much a testament to the CCP’s continued paranoia and basic stupidity when confronted with even the most mild of statements for systemic or institutional change as it is about any one man.
Let me point out something. Prior to the award, China warned Norway against giving Liu the award. This blog was among the many commentators who noted that this all but sealed it for Liu. Indeed, the pressure has been on a long time.
Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad told the Norwegian news agency Norsk Telegrambyrå (NTB) that China's Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying met Lundestad in Oslo this summer to deliver the message. Separately, a Hong Kong visitor who met Norwegian officials earlier this year told Asia Sentinel that "the government folks there said they were under tremendous pressure from the Communists not to give the Peace Prize as long ago as last November. It is an outrageous example of Beijing interfering in the internal affairs of small countries."Do you think the leadership in Beijing didn't know that pressure would only produce the opposite results? Try this on for size: Beijing was trying to ensure that Liu got the award.
If they didn't want Liu to win, why did they keep Liu front and center in China-Norway relations for almost a year?
With the ground broken on a Chinese dissident, Beijing and Taipei can then approach the Committee for Nobel approval of the Ma-Hu 2011 Nobel Peace Taiwan Sellout Lovefest Tour. The Committee, having affronted Beijing the previous year, will naturally want to mend fences. And what could be better than a joint Ma-Hu Peace Prize for "calming tensions" in the Strait? (what a boost for Ma going into 2012 too). Why do you think Ma came out so strongly for this and called for Liu's release in the massive publicity wake of the prize, but when DPP Chair Tsai urged Ma to talk to PRC negotiator Chen Yunlin in Dec of last year, only a weak statement was issued?
And as a special bonus, if it is given at the same time next year, it will occur around Double 10 Day (ROC) and the PRC National Day (Oct 1).
UPDATE: Several other motivations for wanting Liu to win have been suggested, including preventing Gao from getting it.
UPDATE II: Some excellent rejections of this in comments below.
- Don asks the same question I always do in post on academic work that laps up Beijing propaganda.
- President Ma vows that KMT will take responsibility for its past.
- David collects responses to Arthur Waldron's call for the opposition and the KMT to celebrate National Day together. Waldron is a longtime China/Taiwan observer and strong supporter of Taiwan.
- Taiwan stops "activists" from engaging in more shenanigans in the Senkakus.
- Fashion designer insists he is Taiwanese even as Ma tries to appropriate him. Good clean fun.
- Former President Chen's detention extended two more months. Thank you, KMT, for keeping Chen quiet and out of the way and enabling Tsai Ing-wen to reconsolidate the DPP and go forward to dominate the last few elections. Now Chen will remain behind bars for the duration of the 2010 election season.
- Commonwealth Magazine, as always, has a useful piece on the debate over universal values in China.
- Despite reports, updates say no Taiwan fishing vessel has been hijacked off Somalia.
- Human-driven global warming is reducing miracle rice yields.
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