Chinese media sceptical over Nobel for Malala

While hailing Nobel Peace Prize winners Indian Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, Chinese media has expressed scepticism over the Pakistani teenager being chosen for the award saying it was used to positively portray US intervention in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 11, 2014, 15:57 PM IST

Beijing: While hailing Nobel Peace Prize winners Indian Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, Chinese media has expressed scepticism over the Pakistani teenager being chosen for the award saying it was used to positively portray US intervention in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The media prominently featured the Nobel for child rights activist Satyarthi and girls' education activist Malala.

"Malala deserves the prize," Zhao Gancheng, director of the Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told state-run Global Times yesterday, noting that her winning the award represents the global fight for justice against extremism.

Yet it also showed the political complexity of the Nobel Peace Prize, Zhao said.

"Her propaganda coincides with the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. And the West is using Malala's story to publicise the bright side of their effort of military presence in the other countries, such as improving the chances of women receiving education as well as their political participation," he said.

"Meanwhile, they are downplaying the dark side of it, such as more conflict and mass civilian deaths," Zhao said.

But at the same he said it is unreasonable for radical religious groups to prevent girls from getting education.

"Although the prize contains the political impact, it is never wrong to encourage improvements in the equal right to educational opportunities for children in impoverished areas," he said.
State-run CCTV featured stories on Satyarthi and Malala.

The report on the reaction from Pakistan however highlighted criticism over granting the prize to the 17-year-old while ignoring long standing contribution of other Pakistani social activists like Abdul Sattar Edhi who runs a medical foundation helping thousands of poor and needy.

The Nobel Peace Prize has had political connotations in China ever since it was presented to the Dalai Lama in 1989 for his efforts to highlight the Tibetan cause and later to Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo, who continues to languish in prison even after being chosen for the award in 2010.

China alleges political motives in choosing the awardees.

But Beijing did not have a problem when Chinese author Mo Yan, a long standing member of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2012.