China has awarded its second annual Confucian peace prize to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, for his work as a critic of the Nato attack on Libya earlier this year. Putin has been identified by the prize-giving committee for having encourage global peace, despite the fact that his objections to the attack were virtually ignored.
Others who were up for the prize include Bill Gates, Angela Merkel, Kofi Annan, Jacob Zuma and a Tibetan Panchen Lama imposed by Beijing. And Putin’s victory comes despite Russia having recently become embroiled in a number of wars in Chechnya and South Ossetia.
The Confucian prize was established in 2010, when it was awarded to Taiwanese vice-president Lien Chan. Since then, the Chinese government has moved its support behind another award, but the Confucian prize battles ahead. So far there is no word from Vladimir Putin in response to his victory.