The China Post staff
Aides to Vice President Annette Lu yesterday hastened to dismiss allegations that the World Peace Prize she received earlier this month was a sham. According to an article in Next Magazine, the award was part of a publicity stunt by a Korean fraud called Dr. Han Min Su. The story raised a series of questions as to the authenticity of both the prize and the sponsor organization and alleged that the award was given out sporadically, often for bizarre and ludicrous reasons. The magazine claimed that in 1995, following a gap of several years in which no one was given the trophy, four people were awarded the prize, including the founder of the organization that presents the accolade.
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan received a World Peace Prize two years after leaving office for the dubious distinction of having “beaten the Soviet Union through Star Wars,” the article claimed. The magazine report also suggested that the organization involved in the award, the World Peace Corps, had intentionally chosen a name that would easily be confused with the U.S. Peace Corps.
In response to the charges, Lu’s aides issued a statement saying that the vice president was taking the allegations seriously and had asked the organization for a clarification. The existence of the award-giving organization was confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
Chang Hsiao-yue, MOFA spokeswoman, said that the World Peace Corps is headed by former U.S. Congressman Lester Wolff, who informed C. J. Chen, Taipei representative in Washington, of Lu’s award.ed of the award announcement. She stressed that the organization had not asked the MOFA for any payment for giving the award to the vice president. Instead, Chang said, the award was given to acknowledge Lu’s achievements in the promotion of democracy and peace, most notably the recent conference on world peace that she hosted in Taipei.