Nobel Peace Prize: Confucius prize? Never heard of it, says the winner

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China's attempts to upstage the Nobel Peace Prize with a rival version ended in near-farce in Beijing yesterday when the winner of the inaugural Confucius Peace Prize failed to show up to collect his prize.

But unlike Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident who is unable to attend today's ceremony because he's in a Chinese prison, the first Confucius laureate said he wouldn't attend because he'd never heard of the prize in the first place.

The office of former Taiwanese vice president Lien Chan, who according to the citation won the Confucius award for his work in improving relations across the troubled Taiwan Strait, said it knew nothing of the hastily assembled £10,000 prize and had no plans to collect it.

The peace prize with Chinese characteristics had been billed as Beijing's riposte to this year's Nobel which has infuriated Beijing....

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