18 Sep 2011

China peace prize candidates announced

10:02 am on 18 September 2011

China has announced its candidates for the Confucius Peace Prize, its alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize.

The prize was announced for the first time last year, two days before jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Prize amid protests from Beijing.

Executive chairman Liu Haofeng said on Saturday this year's list is:

The Panchen Lama, the second highest Tibetan Buddhist leader who was hand-picked by the Chinese government,

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia,

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany,

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa

and Yuan Longping, a Chinese agricultural scientist known as the father of hybrid rice.

The winner will be announced on 9 December - a day before the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo - and awarded 100,000 yuan ($A152,120).

Liu, an artist, said the award had been established to reflect "global values". He denied the purpose of the Confucius award was to counter the Nobel Peace Prize.

But he said the Nobel had "limitations" and neglected "the interests of the East".

Last year's prize was awarded to former Taiwan vice-president Lien Chan.