China Awards Peace Prize to ... Putin?
Because he opposed NATO's Libya campaign
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2011 11:28 AM CST
Vladimir Putin talks during a dinner with foreign scholars and journalists at the restaurant Cheval Blanc on the premises of an equestrian complex outside Moscow, Russia, Nov. 11, 2011.   (AP Photo/Maxim Shipenkov, Pool)

(Newser) – China’s Nobel Peace Prize knock-off has selected its second winner: Vladimir Putin. Apparently Russia’s once and future president has been "outstanding in keeping world peace" this year, Confucius Peace Prize organizer Qiao Damo tells the AFP. How so? "Putin was against NATO’s idea to bomb Libya, and he appeared to the world in a peaceful manner," Qiao explains.

Putin’s award will be presented in Beijing on Dec. 9, one day before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo. "I feel the Noble Peace Prize has gone too far away from peace," Qiao says. "Western values are not perfect and need an alternative to balance them out." The Confucius prize, created last year after the Nobel committee selected Liu Xiaobo as its Peace Prize recipient, is judged by a 16-person panel of academics—though its executive chairman has admitted it’s overseen by the Chinese culture ministry.