BEIJING – China’s Ministry of Culture abruptly pulled the plug on this year’s Confucius Peace Prize, which was launched last year after imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
A brief statement posted to the ministry’s website Thursday said the organizer of the prize, the China Native Art Association Traditional Culture Protection Bureau, had “severely violated” ministry regulations by using an unauthorized title and holding a news conference without prior approval. The statement ordered the association to disband.
Chinese blogger and activist Wen Yunchao said the real reason was probably that authorities were embarrassed by the negative reaction to the award.
“This prize has always been a joke,” he said.