It’s that time of year again when China starts the selection process for its coveted “Confucius Peace Prize.” This time the list includes Bill Gates, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and a host of Chinese candidates. Let’s hope it’s not a debacle like the first time when they chose someone who didn’t want the prize and then the next year gave it to Vladimir Putin. They have said it’s not intended to counter the Nobel Peace Prize, though it was conceived, or at least announced, shortly after Liu Xiaobo received the award in 2010. The purpose of the award is to celebrate “Confucius thinking” and harmony.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.