The Nobel Peace Prize was established more than 100 years ago and it used to be a tremendous honor to be awarded the prize. Unfortunately, some recent choices of recipient have been confusing, even preposterous, and this has undermined the prestige and credibility of the prize.
In 1994, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three leaders from Israel and Palestine, Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, but they never managed to bring peace to the region. In 2000, South Korean president Kim Dae-jung was awarded the prize to recognize his work for reconciliation with North Korea following a summit meeting with his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-il, but the two Koreas remain at war, with no peace in sight. Later, it was discovered that North Korea had been given US$100 million by South Korea shortly before the meeting, leading to suspicions that the meeting came about as the result of a bribe.
In 2002, former US president Jimmy Carter received the peace prize, although he was notorious for his weakness and incapability and had made no substantial contribution to world peace. In 2007, former US vice president Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were awarded the peace prize for their efforts to “disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change,” but Gore was then accused of aggravating pollution and global warming by flying around the world in a private jet. Even more embarrassing, it was revealed that the electricity consumption of his family was several times higher than the average US household.
This year, US President Barack Obama was awarded the peace prize, creating a great commotion around the world as he had merely proposed a fairytale-like vision of a world without nuclear weapons and the prevention of global warming, without having made any substantial contribution. Obama announced that he was not qualified to receive the prize and would donate the prize money to charity.
All this makes one wonder whether the five members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee have lost their minds as they have destroyed the prize’s prestige and credibility.
If a Taiwanese thinks there is a Nobel Peace Prize to be had by making peace with China by signing a so-called “peace accord” and getting Beijing to remove the more than 1,000 missiles it has aimed at the country, he would be bringing catastrophe to the nation.
A peace accord is a document signed by nations at war, but Taiwan has neither the intention nor the capability of attacking China. It is only China that openly and blatantly threatens Taiwan with the use of military force. If China really wanted peace, it could renounce the use of military force against Taiwan. That would solve the issue and there would be no need to sign a peace agreement.
It is a strategy that China uses to swindle Taiwan into making concessions, such as ending arms purchases from the US. In this day and age of high-tech weaponry, the physical location of the missiles is unimportant, so shaking hands with China’s leaders would not improve the situation. Just look at the meeting between the two Korean leaders.
If someone in Taiwan still dreams of being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I advise that he or she quickly give up the idea. A prize of more than US$1 million may greatly increase his or her personal wealth, but it would be won at the expense of selling out the country — and that person would forever be remembered as a traitor.
Peng Ming-min is chairman of the Peng Ming-min Foundation.
TRANSLATED BY TED YANG
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