Academics propose nominating Xi and Ma for Nobel Peace Prize

China President Xi Jinping shaking hands with Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou during their historic meeting at Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore on Nov 7. Professor Alfred Peng Peigen from Tsinghua University's School of Architecture is fronting the cam
China President Xi Jinping shaking hands with Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou during their historic meeting at Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore on Nov 7. Professor Alfred Peng Peigen from Tsinghua University's School of Architecture is fronting the campaign, launched on Sunday in Beijing, to nominate the two leaders for the Nobel Peace Prize next year.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Academics across the Taiwan Strait are proposing to nominate Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou for the Nobel Peace Prize next year, following their historic meeting in Singapore last month.

Professor Alfred Peng Peigen from Tsinghua University's School of Architecture is fronting the campaign launched on Sunday in Beijing.

There are at least eight other signatories, such as former Tsinghua University president Gu Binglin; China Development Research Institute head Zhang Qi; and Renmin University diplomacy expert Jin Canrong.

The sole Taiwanese signatory is Dr Chang Jen-Hu, chairman of the Chinese Culture University, a private college in Taipei.

The proposal states that the meeting - the first between Chinese and Taiwanese leaders since 1949 - bears significant meaning for both sides and also world peace.

Professor Jin was quoted as saying in media reports that Taiwan is the only fuse that could spark armed conflict between China and the United States and the meeting has lowered such risks.

Spokesman Ma Xiaoguang of China's Taiwan Affairs Office said the non-government move shows the leaders' meeting was well-received by the public.

"It also affirms the peaceful development of cross-strait ties since 2008," he said yesterday.

Nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize can come only from a select pool: former winners, Norwegian Nobel Committee members, judges, parliamentarians, and professors. Nomination ends by Feb 1 every year.

Kor Kian Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2015, with the headline 'Academics propose nominating Xi and Ma for Nobel Peace Prize'. Print Edition | Subscribe