Wed, Dec 30, 2009 - Page 8 News List

Hu Jintao: a perfect peace prize candidate

By James Wang 王景弘

There are a number of people with deep blue convictions who fully support President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) policy of capitulation to China. Some of them even say he should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Back in the real world, the similarities between Ma and the ill-fated last Ming emperor are all too obvious.

The Nobel Peace Prize might have become cheapened of late, but not to the extent that it should be awarded to a politician who would sacrifice freedom, democracy and human rights to a communist dictatorship.

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher did the same thing when she ceded the territory of Hong Kong to China, which is an undemocratic country with no respect for human rights — and I don’t recall her being nominated for the prize.

Taiwan is a democracy, but only as a result of the sacrifice and struggle of a colonized people: It was not easily come by.

All Taiwan wants is to maintain its autonomy, and it has no wish to threaten any other nation. Any politician that sacrifices Taiwan’s democracy and allows it to become a colony of totalitarian China would be worse than the last Ming emperor. What sense would the peace prize nomination make then?

China lovers could even consider Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) for nomination. He fits the bill perfectly and the prize would surely be his for the taking.

The Chinese seem to be good at casting things in a rosy light. It has certainly happened before.

Former Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) circumvented using the words “communist dictatorship” with Orwellian aplomb, coining the phrase “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

His move toward a capitalist model, leading the Chinese economy to a turn in fortunes, was dubbed China’s “rise.”

Hu is quite happy to bounce along the capitalist road and watch his country’s “rise,” but we all know that “Chinese characteristics” under a one-party dictatorship is, by any name, the sacrifice of democracy and the suppression of human rights.

Every moment of every day Beijing is in a state of paranoia about independence for Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet, afraid that people will call for freedom, democracy and human rights. If China is rising and becoming such a “great nation,” why would so many people be demanding independence?

This is one of those “rare historic opportunities” that Hu has talked of.

He should change his approach and adopt the magnanimity befitting a great nation. It would reinvent China’s image in an instant.

He could embrace a democratic system, guarantee human rights, respect the choice of the Taiwanese people and welcome the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and Rebiya Kadeer, the exiled Uighur leader, to Xinjiang, allowing self-rule for those regions.

A great nation on the rise should be able to demonstrate this kind of confidence.

If US President Barack Obama could win the Nobel Peace Prize, what is to stop Hu being nominated?

It wouldn’t hurt China to drop the idea of unification and allow Taiwan de jure independence, respecting the choice of Taiwanese.

Both sides would gain a peaceful co-­existence, Hu would win the Nobel Peace Prize and Ma could avoid going down in history as a “last emperor.”

Now that’s what I call a win-win situation.

James Wang is a media commentator.


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