In 2010, an organization in China established the Confucius Peace Prize in opposition to the awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize to dissident Liu Xiaobo in the same year.
The prize was ridiculed even within China and, in September 2011, the Chinese Ministry of Culture announced that the hosting organization would be stripped of authority and the prize scrapped.
Even so, the original organizers, ever determined to represent the famous Chinese philosopher’s vision of peace, decided to act on their own accord and soon formed a new committee, the China International Peace Studies Center in Hong Kong, which granted the second Confucius Peace Prize to everyone’s favorite Russian dictator: Vladimir Putin.
Putin beat out 7 other eager contenders such as German Prime Minister Angela Merkel, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and South African President Jacob Zuma.
The committee praised Putin for going to war on Chechnya in 1999, stating Putin’s “Iron hand and toughness revealed in this war impressed the Russians a lot, and he was regarded to be capable of bringing safety and stability to Russia.”
Additionally, Putin was lauded for “standing up for the purpose of world peace,” with the committee citing his criticism of NATO involvement in the 2011 Libyan Civil War.
Chinese internet users responded to the committee’s selection of the Russian Prime Minister with a collective “WTF!?”
The Confucius Peace Prize award ceremony is set to be held on December 9, 1 day before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. However, it is uncertain whether Putin has any intention of attending – or even knows he was awarded the prize at all.
Incidentally, last year’s prize went to Taiwanese politician Lien Chan, who never showed up at the ceremony and his prize “accepted” by a random little girl whose relation to Chan—if there was any at all—was never specified by the organizers.