Saturday, December 11, 2010

China model : western democratic model not at this stage, or never

A frank opinion and balanced assessment from a Norwegian academic which exposes the prejudices of the Nobel prize Committee.

Judge for yourself.  If you read widely and weigh the odds, you won't believe everything that the mass media (profit driven and backed by powerful interest groups) feeds its readers.  But of course, certain powers would also try to conceal the truth, spread false rumours, in order to cast doubts on the credibility of others and make their own kind look noble and impeccable.

Quotes :

Big mistake to award Nobel Peace Prize to non-contributor to peace: Norwegian professor

Ironically, Kolstad said, many in the West still believe that their system is the best in the world and has to be exported to all other countries, "in some countries by force and wars, and in other countries by supporting those who are believed to represent these values and ideas."

"To state that parliamentary democracy and freedom of speech is a guarantee for peace and end of armed aggression is a mistake," he said.

Commenting on the Nobel Committee's claim that it is independent of political influence, the professor said: "There is definitely relationship to the official political system in Norway." He noted that the committee leader is also a former Norwegian prime minister and president of the parliament.

China has made remarkable progress in human rights, such as plugging starvation, curbing crimes and promoting food safety, which are "important not only for a developing and still poor country like China, but for developed countries as well," Kolstad said.

"In this way, the Western world can learn human rights from China," he added.
Meanwhile, China carries a "relational" culture where people seek relationships and harmony and are less inclined to stay out as independent and autonomous human beings than those in Western societies, Kolstad said.

It is also simply unfair to label China as an undemocratic country, he stressed, explaining that China adopts "another kind of relationship between those in power and the people."

"The parliamentary system with more parties is not the only way to give people influence on political decisions and the future of their country. We have to accept that other countries choose other political and democratic solutions, based on their culture and level of development," he said.

"I do not know if it is more democratic to have a system where presidential candidates have to be extremely rich to run for presidency," he added.
Lurking underneath the West's uneasiness and faultfinding with China, Kolstad pointed out, is that many in the West do not like to see a big and in many way successful country like China having another political system, based on other cultural values than is accepted in the West.

"I look at China as a peaceful, not aggressive country compared with most developed countries in the world. China does not take part in wars, it tries to solve international problems with dialogue," he said.

"I therefore think it is unfair to give a Peace Prize to the opposition and dissidents in China instead of giving it to the president, as in the U.S.

"Liu Xiaobo has, as far as I know, never contributed in any conflict-reducing activity or take part in peace-related activities," Professor Arnulf Kolstad of Norwegian University of Science and Technology told Xinhua.
"I therefore cannot see that the peace prize winner fulfills the most important criteria in Nobel's testament. Therefore it is a mistake," added the professor of social psychology and China expert.

The professor explicitly rejected the Norwegian body's argument that Liu's struggle for human rights, especially the freedom of speech, and a Western parliamentary democratic system in China is a prerequisite to world peace.
Many countries that have long followed the Western political system, such as the United States, Britain and Norway, have been among the most aggressive military powers in the last 50 years, occupying and starting wars in others countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, he noted. 

To state that parliamentary democracy and freedom of speech is a guarantee for peace and end of armed aggression is a mistake," he said.


A Norwegian professor explicitly rejected a claim he “denounced China for slander” during an interview by the Voice of Germany (Deutsche Welle) on October 17, 2010. Arnulf Kolstad, a professor with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, stressed that he had never made such statement and insisted he had been dissatisfied with the Nobel Peace Prize committee during interviews from both Norwegian and foreign media.

On October 8, professor Kolstad said “This is a wrong decision (to give Liu Xiaobo the 2010 Nobel Peace prize)” while he accepted an interview with the World’s Road (Verdens Gang).

The Oslo bureau of Xinhua new agency interviewed professor Kolstad on Oct 12 and completed a story with the headline “Big mistake to award Nobel Peace Prize to non-contributor to peace”. After the publication of the article, a post claimed professor Kolstad made a quick statement once he heard of the Xinhua’s report that “it’s a complete rumor and a trick of Joseph Goebbels.”

In a telephone interview with the Voice of Germany (Deutsche Welle, DW), Arnulf Kolstad confirmed that he had given an interview to Xinhua, and that the views he voiced in the interview were nothing special. He also said that he had not issued a statement accusing Xinhua of fabrication afterwards, and was not aware of news about such a statement. As early as the day the prize was announced, the DW reporter also noted, Norwegian media had published his interview and its contents are much the same as the Xinhua report.

Kolstad also expressed in an interview with the Oslo bureau of Xinhua News Agency that his views have not changed. He said, "I have never published the so-called statement. I stand by everything I say, I did not withdraw anything I said. The statement online is not correct and is pure rumor."

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