The first honoree is Lien Chan, Taiwan's former vice president and the honorary chairman of its Nationalist Party, for having "built a bridge of peace between the mainland and Taiwan." A staffer in his Taipei office said she could not comment Tuesday because she knew nothing about the prize.Which is all really really weird.
I was intrigued by this not only because one of my blog-o-pals is publishing The Art of War, line-by-line, oddly with no commentary, but also because I just discovered in my DVD collection a set I bought couple of years ago in Hong Kong, something about the 36 stratagems (or as the DVD says "six times six equals to thirty-six number goes with art," whatever that means). It is a Chinese-produced "TV-play," about the Sunzi Bingfa (albeit pathetic by Korean-drama standards). I bought it thinking it was an academic documentary about Sun Tzu, but I discover it's an interesting drama, (recalling the production values of late '50s television's Hallmark Hall of Fame or Alcoa Presents dramas of my childhood) with very attractive Chinese men in topknots. (Having just finished Muhyul, this may be the next stimulation I need. )
The real point of my post here is that a reading of The Art of War may be helpful in understanding just what the hell the Chinese are really doing with their Confucius prize.