Awards Current Affairs 2018

Friendship Medal: China awards its first highest state honour to Russian President Vladimir Putin

China awarded its first highest state honour Friendship Medal to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The award was personally bestowed on Vladimir Putin by Chinese President Xi Jinping in grand ceremony held at Great Hall of the People in capital city of Beijing.

Key Facts

This was first time China has awarded medal since it was established in 2015. Friendship Medal is conferred by China only on foreigner who has made outstanding contributions in promoting exchange and cooperation between China and world, and in maintaining world peace. Russian President Vladimir Putin was presented this award during his official state visit to China, which will include attending 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit at Qingdao.

Comment

China and Russia had been cooperating since late 1990s as they responded to quite similar pressures from West. For China, Russia always had been its best friend and for Russia, China is strategic partner. In December 2017, US labelled both countries strategic rivals that challenge US interests and values. China is currently locked in ongoing trade dispute with the US, which has also imposed tough sanctions on Russia. Both China and Russia have no choice but to increase cooperation so they can jointly deal with US if it increases pressure on both countries. The award to Russia’s most powerful leader Vladimir Putin is considered as clear sign that both countries were growing closer amid increasing pressure from US. It is also reflection of the special relationship that has existed for few decades.

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Olga Tokarczuk wins Man Booker International Prize 2018

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk (56) awarded Man Booker International Prize 2018. It makes her first writer from Poland to win this prestigious English-language literary award. She won prize with English translation of her novel Flights, which charts multiple journeys in time, space and human anatomy. It was first published in Polish language in 2007 and was translated into English in 2017 by Jennifer Croft.

Olga Tokarczuk

Olga Tokarczuk is one of most critically acclaimed and commercially successful Polish writers of her generation. She is particularly noted for hallmark mythical tone of her writing. She is trained as psychologist at University of Warsaw. She has published collection of poems, several novels, as well as other books with shorter prose works. Her first novel, The Journey Of The People Of The Book was released in 1993. Her literally work has won several awards, both in her home country Poland and also abroad, including Poland’s most prestigious ‘Nike Literary Award’ twice. She also has co-written screenplay for Polish crime film Spoor, which won the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin film festival in 2017. It was also selected as Poland’s entry for best foreign language film at 2018 Oscars.

Man Booker International Prize

Man Booker International Prize is counterpart to Man Booker Prize for English-language novels presented by the Man Group. It is open to books in any language that have been translated into English. It carries monetary award of £50,000 award which is split evenly between writer and translator. The authors are shortlisted by judges from a wide range of disciplines and all with passion for quality fiction.

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