Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been nominated for a Chinese alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize, Confucius Peace Prize, the Chinese news portal sina.com said on Saturday.
The Confucius Peace Prize emerged for the first time in 2010, when it was suddenly announced by a shadowy group two days before jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize amid furious protests from Beijing.
Other candidates include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South African President Jacob Zuma. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan are also among those being considered for the award.
In July, Berlin-based nonprofit organization Werkstatt Deutschland announced plans to give Putin the Quadriga Award as a "role model for enlightenment, dedication and the public good". The plan came under massive attack in the media and the political community. Many German public figures protested the idea, saying Putin's human rights record made him an unacceptable candidate.
Putin served with the KGB in East Germany for five years until German reunification in 1990.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev blasted the German organization for reversing its earlier decision: "I believe that any public organization awarding prizes may choose who to award and who not, who to like and who not. But if the decision was made, it should be implemented. Otherwise, this is a display of cowardliness and inconsistency."