Beleaguered Vladimir Putin Wins "Confucius Peace Prize"

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is the winner of the second "Confucius Peace Prize." The award was created two years ago as Beijing's alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize. But it remains a mystery why Putin, a former KGB agent, was chosen for the award.

This year's "Confucius Peace Prize" went to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin--for whom not much else has been going well lately.

Since announcing plans to return to the presidency in the coming elections, he has recently faced public jeers and a huge protest movement, which mostly brands him as authoritarian. Here, though, he remains well-liked.

[Qiao Damo, Founder, Confucius Peace Prize]:
"This year, through the votes we received from the 16-member committee of the 2nd Confucius Peace Prize, the winner is the President of Russia, Mr. Putin."

Ironically, it may even be an authoritarian style of politics that won him the prize. The Confucius Peace Prize was founded last year as a protest against the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a peaceful Chinese dissident, Liu Xiaobo.

Many originally thought that the prize was created with PRC backing, but Chinese officials have disavowed all knowledge of its origins. Qiao Damo, a poet, has since said that he founded the prize on his own initiative.

Putin did not collect the prize, but the Russian Embassy in Beijing dispatched Russian students studying abroad in the city to collect Putin's award.