Since garnering the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo has been lionized, particularly by Western politicians and media, who now promote him as the leader of the “democratic forces” in China. Meanwhile, Liu's politics and those of the award itself are studiously ignored. Liu, however, was chosen for the prize, over many other imprisoned dissidents (including Chinese) nominated for it, precisely because of his politics: he is a neoconservative/neoliberal in the U.S. mold. Not an advocate of peace, but of the wars waged by the United States and its allies, Liu also endorses the total Westernization of China and wholesale privatization of its economy. Despite the common conception of Liu as an advocate of democracy in the face of China's authoritarian government, he seemingly does not even back universal suffrage. The award of the prize to Liu both continues the tradition of a small group of Norwegian politicians using it to advance Western elite ideological interests and represents a new stage of “soft power” warfare against China as the perceived long-term strategic competitor of the United States and its NATO allies.

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