China is being accused of rigging the Miss World 2010 competition to ensure a loss for Norway, the nation which it holds responsible for awarding one of its political prisoners a Nobel Peace Prize.
Additionally, the Chinese audience refused to acknowledge Miss Japan, and a Miss Taiwan was out of the question.
Miss Norway (Mariann Birkedal, above) was the favourite for winning the beauty pageant this year – but mysteriously she did not even make it into the top 5 and the dubious honour instead went to Miss USA (Alexandria Mills, below), a decision observers have widely ascribed to pressure from the competition’s Chinese hosts.
China is of course still seething over the decision of the Norway administered Nobel committee to award a Nobel Peace Prize to a Chinese democracy advocate China has locked up for the crime of criticising the reigning communist dictatorship.
Just what material action it can take against distant and oil-bloated Norway is not clear, but it is already noted for instigating all the petty snubs and shady meddling it can against foreigners who dare to defy party policy.
Miss Japan also fell victim to classy displays of nationalist bile, as the largely Chinese audience refused to cheer or acknowledge her, perhaps fearing that do so would somehow constitute support of Japanese sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands.
As if all this were not enough, China refused to allow a Taiwanese entry to the contest because of its long-standing insistence that Taiwan submit to Chinese domination rather than pursue its unreasonable desire for democratic self-determination.
Whilst anyone could be forgiven for not caring which of the all but identical emaciated strumpets on display was crowned Miss World this time, that China feels the need to hijack even this petty media circus in pursuit of its crude propaganda efforts is yet another sad reminder of just why so many are mistrustful of China’s growing international presence.