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lofter1
October 8th, 2010, 12:46 PM
Liu Xiaobo Wins Nobel Peace Prize

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2010-10/56610226.jpg

THE HUFFINGTON POST (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/08/liu-xiaobo-nobel-peace-prize_n_755342.html)
SCOTT MCDONALD AND KARL RITTER
October 8, 2010

BEIJING — Imprisoned Chinese democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo on Friday won the Nobel Peace Prize – an award that drew furious condemnation from the authoritarian government and calls from world leaders including President Barack Obama for Liu's quick release.

Chinese state media blacked out the news and Chinese government censors blocked Nobel Prize reports, which highlighted Liu's calls for peaceful political change, from Internet websites. China declared the decision would harm its relations with Norway and promptly summoned Oslo's ambassador to Beijing to make a formal protest.

In Oslo, China's ambassador to Norway met with a state secretary at Norway's Foreign Ministry, ministry spokeswoman Ragnhild Imerslund said.

The Norwegian officials explained that the peace prize committee is independent of the government and that Norway wants to maintain good relations with China, Imerslund said.

This year's peace prize followed a long tradition of honoring dissidents around the world and was the first Nobel for China's dissident community since it resurfaced after the Communists launched economic but not political reforms three decades ago.

Liu, 54, was sentenced last year to 11 years in prison for subversion. The Nobel committee said he was the first to be honored while still in prison, although other Nobel winners have been under house arrest, or imprisoned before the prize.

Other dissidents to win the peace prize include German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in 1935, Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov in 1975, Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa in 1983 and Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991.

The Nobel committee praised Liu's pacifist approach, ignoring threats by Chinese diplomats even before the announcement that such a decision would result in strained ties with Norway. Liu has been an ardent advocate of peaceful, gradual political change.

The Nobel committee cited Liu's participation in the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing in 1989 and the Charter 08 document he recently co-authored, which called for greater freedom in China and an end to the Communist Party's political dominance.

Obama said in a statement that Liu "has sacrificed his freedom for his beliefs" and is "an eloquent and courageous spokesman for the advance of universal values through peaceful and nonviolent means."

"We call on the Chinese government to release Mr. Liu as soon as possible," Obama said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the award, calling Liu "a brave man." Her spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel hoped Liu would be released from prison to accept the peace prize in person.

Chinese authorities would not allow access to Liu on Friday, and it was not clear if he had been told about the award.

His wife, however, expressed joy at the news. Surrounded by police at their Beijing apartment, Liu Xia was not allowed out to meet reporters.

But she issued a statement through Freedom Now, a Washington-based rights group, saying she was grateful to the Nobel committee.

"It is a true honor for him and one for which I know he would say he is not worthy," she said, thanking former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel and two former Nobel Peace Prize winners – Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and South African Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu – for nominating her husband.

"I hope that the international community will take this opportunity to call on the Chinese government to press for my husband's release," she said.

Liu Xia planned to go Saturday to deliver the news to Liu at his prison, 300 miles (500 kilometers) from Beijing.

China's Foreign Ministry quickly criticized the Nobel decision, saying the award should been used instead to promote international friendship and disarmament.

"Liu Xiaobo is a criminal who has been sentenced by Chinese judicial departments for violating Chinese law," spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement. Honoring him "runs completely counter to the principle of the prize and also desecrates the peace prize."

The ministry said the decision would damage relations between China and Norway.

Ma's statement was later read on the state television channel intended for broadcast overseas.

In China, broadcasts of the announcement by CNN were blacked out. Popular Internet sites removed coverage of the Nobel prizes, placed prominently in recent days for the science awards. Messages about "Xiaobo" to Sina Microblog, a Twitter-like service run by Internet portal Sina.com, were quickly deleted. Attempts to send mobile text messages with the Chinese characters for Liu Xiaobo failed.

The Nobel committee said China, as a growing economic and political power, needed to take more responsibility for protecting the rights of its citizens.

"China has become a big power in economic terms as well as political terms, and it is normal that big powers should be under criticism," prize committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said, calling Liu Xiaobo (LEE-o SHAo-boh) a symbol for the fight for human rights in China.

More than a dozen friends and supporters of Liu gathered near the entrance to Ditan Park in central Beijing, holding up placards congratulating him. They shouted "Long Live Freedom of Speech, Long Live Democracy" and wore yellow ribbons on their clothes to signify, they said, their wish that he be freed.

The small group of demonstrators was later taken away by police. Liu is almost unknown in China except among political activists.

Ru Shengtao, 38, a migrant worker with several large bags of cement strapped on his motorbike, stopped to see what the group was shouting about. He said he'd never heard of Liu and didn't believe anyone jailed for a crime in China should be receiving an international award for peace.

"If the person who won got it because he opposed the government, then I don't think it's good," he said. "People who defy the Chinese government should not get this prize and if they do, it's because people overseas are trying to split China."

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere told national broadcaster NRK he saw no grounds for China to punish Norway as a country for the award.

"I think that would be negative for China's reputation in the world, if they chose to do that," Gahr Stoere said.

Several previous peace laureates have been unable to accept the prize in person because of restrictions imposed by their governments, including Sakharov and Walesa.

Suu Kyi, who was awarded the 1991 prize and has been detained 15 of the past 21 years, is due to be released from house arrest Nov. 13, a week after Myanmar's first elections in two decades. Suu Kyi's political party won the last elections in 1990 but the ruling junta never allowed it to take power.

President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize last year, which this year carries a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (about $1.5 million).

The Charter 08 document that Liu co-authored was an intentional echo of Charter 77, the famous call for human rights in then-Czechoslovakia that led to the 1989 Velvet Revolution that swept away Communist rule.

"The democratization of Chinese politics can be put off no longer," Charter 08 says.

Havel, who helped draft Charter 77, said "Liu Xiaobo is exactly the kind of a committed citizen who deserves such an award and that is the reason why I, together with my friends, nominated him."

In an e-mailed statement, Havel praised the Nobel committee "for not bowing to Chinese threats."

Thousands of Chinese signed Charter 08, and the Communist Party took the document as a direct challenge.

Police arrested Liu hours before Charter 08 was due to be released in December 2008. Given a brief trial last Christmas Day, Liu was convicted of subversion for writing Charter 08 and other political tracts and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

"Through the severe punishment meted out to him, Liu has become the foremost symbol of this wide-ranging struggle for human rights in China," the award citation said.

In a year with a record 237 nominations for the peace prize, Liu had been considered a favorite, with open support from Tutu, the Dalai Lama and others.

When the Tibet-born Dalai Lama won the peace prize in 1989, both the Chinese government and some of the public were angry – the exiled Buddhist leader was endlessly vilified in official propaganda as a traitor for his calls for more autonomy for Tibet.

The Dalai Lama on Friday issued his congratulations to Liu.

"I would like to take this opportunity to renew my call to the government of China to release Liu Xiaobo and other prisoners of conscience who have been imprisoned for exercising their freedom of expression" the spiritual leader said.

The son of a soldier, Liu joined China's first wave of university students in the mid-1970s after the chaotic decade of the Cultural Revolution.

Liu's writing first took a political turn in 1988, when he became a visiting scholar in Oslo – his first time outside China.

Liu cut short a visiting scholar stint at Columbia University months later to join the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing in 1989. He and three other older activists famously persuaded students to peacefully leave the square hours before the deadly June 4 crackdown.

Liu went to prison after the crackdown and was released in early 1991 because he had repented and "performed major meritorious services," state media said at the time, without elaborating.

Still, five years later Liu was sent to a re-education camp for three years for co-writing an open letter that demanded the impeachment of then-President Jiang Zemin.

The 2010 Nobel announcements started Monday with the medicine award going to British professor Robert Edwards for fertility research that led to the first test tube baby.

Russian-born scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov won the physics prize for groundbreaking experiments with graphene, the strongest and thinnest material known to mankind.

Japanese researchers Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki and American Richard Heck shared the chemistry award for designing techniques to bind together carbon atoms.

The literature prize went to Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa. The last of the 2010 awards – the economics prize – will be announced Monday.

Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the awards in his 1895 will. He left only vague instructions, dedicating the peace prize to people who have worked for "fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Ritter reported from Oslo, Norway. Associated Press writers Bjoern H. Amland in Oslo and Cara Anna and Alexa Olesen in Beijing contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 HuffingtonPost.com, Inc

lofter1
October 8th, 2010, 12:49 PM
FACTBOX - Nobel Peace Prize -- Who is Liu Xiaobo?

REUTERS (http://in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia-52054720101008)
October 8, 2010

REUTERS - Jailed Chinese pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo, 54, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, an announcement that infuriated China's rulers.

Here are some facts about Liu:

LIU AS DISSIDENT:

* Liu was prominent in the 1989 pro-democracy protests centred on Tiananmen Square that were crushed by armed troops, and was jailed for 20 months.

* In 1995, Liu orchestrated several daring petitions to parliament by groups of dissidents and intellectuals. He was held for more than seven months without formal charges.

* On Sept. 30, 1996, Liu and veteran pro-democracy activist Wang Xizhe issued a statement urging the communist authorities to honour a promise in 1945 to give people religious freedom, freedom of the press and speech, and the freedom to form political parties and hold demonstrations.

* They demanded that Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin be indicted for violating the constitution for saying the Chinese army was under the "absolute leadership" of the party instead of the state.

* Within weeks, Liu was sentenced to three years in a labour camp.

MOST RECENT CONVICTION:

* In December 2008, he helped to organise the "Charter 08" petition, which called for sweeping political reforms. It was published on the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

* He was detained almost immediately and held for six months under house arrest.

* A group of prominent foreign academics, lawyers and writers including several Nobel laureates wrote to Chinese President Hu Jintao asking for Liu's release.

* In December 2009, Liu was jailed for 11 years for "inciting subversion of state power" for his role in the petition and for online essays critical of the Communist Party.

* The case and unusually harsh sentence drew protests from Western governments and rights activists at home and abroad.

* In May, Liu was moved to Jinzhou Prison in Liaoning, his home province.

LIFE DETAILS

-- Liu Xiaobo was born on Dec. 28, 1955, in the city of Changchun in Jilin province.

-- After middle school, he was sent to the countryside to work in farms, then worked at a construction company in Changchun.

-- In 1977, he was admitted to study Chinese literature at Jilin University, and created a poetry group with six fellow students: The Innocent Hearts (Chi Zi Xin).

-- In 1982, he began postgraduate literature studies at Beijing Normal University, starting an academic career that would lead to a professor's position at the university.

-- In 1987, his first book, "Criticism of the Choice: Dialogues with Li Zehou", on philosophy and aesthetics, became a non-fiction bestseller. It challenged the ideas of professor Li Zehou, a rising ideological star with great influence on young intellectuals.

-- Liu worked as a visiting scholar at the universities of Oslo and Hawaii and at Columbia University in New York.

-- He returned to China as student protests broke out in Beijing in 1989. His third book, "The Fog of Metaphysics", a comprehensive review of Western philosophies, was published the same year.

-- He served as president of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre from 2003 to 2007 and holds a seat on its board.

Sources: Reuters/ www.nobel.org / www.pen.org / www.liuxiaobo.eu /

(Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

© Copyright 2010 Thomson Reuters

Ninjahedge
October 8th, 2010, 02:28 PM
I think he would push for the world leaders to pressure China for change rather than pressure it for his release.

He seems the type that will be continually imprisoned until his goals come to him, and releasing him when they are not there will only be a short reprieve before it happens again.

lofter1
October 8th, 2010, 08:31 PM
Pressuring China to even acknowledge him is equal to pressuring China to change.

hbcat
October 8th, 2010, 10:24 PM
One problem is that the Nobel Peace Prize has become such an obvious and clumsy political tool over the years. I believe the selection committee did a good job this time, but China can point to past Prize winners and discount Liu's selection as propaganda.

I agree with Lofter though. At least in this instance, supporting this prominent dissident cannot be separated from shining the light on the regime. If you care enough, write a letter, or sign a petition, through one of the many human rights groups working on his case:

Freedom Now (this group focuses on one case at a time and Liu is it right now):
http://www.freedom-now.org/campaign/liu-xiaobo/

Amnesty International in the US:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGNAU2010100819084&lang=e

Human Rights Watch:
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/10/08/china-liu-xiaobo-s-nobel-spotlights-rights-deficit

hbcat
October 8th, 2010, 10:35 PM
Freedom Now is cited in the first article above:


His wife, however, expressed joy at the news. Surrounded by police at their Beijing apartment, Liu Xia was not allowed out to meet reporters.

But she issued a statement through Freedom Now, a Washington-based rights group, saying she was grateful to the Nobel committee.

"It is a true honor for him and one for which I know he would say he is not worthy," she said, thanking former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel and two former Nobel Peace Prize winners – Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and South African Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu – for nominating her husband.

"I hope that the international community will take this opportunity to call on the Chinese government to press for my husband's release," she said.

londonlawyer
October 8th, 2010, 10:38 PM
I am very interested in China. Moreover, its foreign policy is far more benign than Washington's druken cowboy approach. Nevertheless, China's vindictive comments with respect to this award are ridiculous.

hbcat
October 9th, 2010, 12:52 AM
Been through the news reports in Chinese this morning -- NO mention of Liu Xiaobo in any mainland Chinese newspapers. Reports from outside of China also show that any Web links with his name and any domestic text messages with "Liu Xiaobo" in them are being blocked.

LL, I agree. There's not much to feel good about in regards to US foreign policy, but one doesn't need to choose between two species of barbarism. Imprisoning writers for expressing opinions is wrong. Harassing journalists who report the truth is indefensible.

Liu was imprisoned for 11 years for drafting a human rights document entitled "Charter '08," a direct reference to "Charter '77." Vaclav Havel was behind Liu's nomination for the Peace Prize. The world is complicated, but once in a while issues like this are crystal clear.

hbcat
October 9th, 2010, 01:04 AM
Orville Schell on PBS --


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Oz9WEuOf9w&feature=player_embedded

hbcat
October 9th, 2010, 01:14 AM
Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo's wife forced to leave Beijing (http://sify.com/news/nobel-laureate-liu-xiaobo-s-wife-forced-to-leave-beijing-news-international-kkjkkdcgbgd.html)

2010-10-09 10:10:00
Last Updated: 2010-10-09 10:17:55

Beijing: Chinese police have forced the wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo to leave Beijing and are believed to have taken her to the northeastern city of Jinzhou, where her husband is imprisoned, reports said on Saturday.

'(The police) are sitting there waiting for me to get my things together,' US-based Radio Free Asia quoted Liu's wife, Liu Xia, as saying late on Friday.

Liu Xia told the broadcaster that the police said they planned to take her to Jinzhou but she was worried that she could be held under house arrest at another place outside Beijing.

Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo wins 2010 Nobel Peace Prize

'They said I could see him (Liu Xiaobo) tomorrow,' Liu Xia was quoted as saying.

Dissident Wang Jinbo also quoted Liu Xiaobo's brother as saying Liu Xia was en route to the prison in Jinzhou 'in the company of the police'.

Liu Xia was expected to arrive in Jinzhou Saturday morning, accompanied by her brother, Wang reported on his Twitter feed.

Wang is a friend of Liu Xia and travelled with her in July on one of the four prison visits she made to Jinzhou since Liu Xiaobo was transferred there in May.

On her Twitter account late Thursday, Liu Xia said she had rejected police efforts to persuade her to travel to Jinzhou, which is about 500 km from Beijing, before Friday's announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize.

After the announcement, a group of up to 100 supporters gathered outside Liu's Beijing apartment compound while police prevented her from leaving.

Dozens of journalists also waited outside the compound, monitored by about 30 uniformed police and dozens of plain-clothes officers.

Liu Xiaobo, a prominent writer and one of China's leading dissidents, was arrested in December 2008, two days before he and 300 others released the Charter 08 for democratic reform.

He was sentenced in December to 11 years in prison for subversion.

Nobel laureate's wife forced to leave Beijing

International rights groups and politicians welcomed Friday's award of the Peace Prize to Liu, but China said it was angered by the decision and insisted that Liu was a 'criminal' convicted under Chinese law.

hbcat
October 9th, 2010, 01:25 AM
Some links to Charter 08, for which Liu Xiaobo was imprisoned:

Chinese Support Charter 08 (http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/58055.html) (from the History News Network)

English translation of Charter '08 (from Human Rights in China) (http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/article?revision_id=174002&item_id=173687)

Charter 08 in (Chinese original) (http://www.2008xianzhang.info/)

hbcat
October 11th, 2010, 07:15 AM
Jailed China Dissident Dedicates Peace Prize to Tiananmen 'Souls' (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704127904575544020776084374.html?m od=googlenews_wsj)
Wall Street Journal
OCTOBER 10, 2010

BEIJING— Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Chinese dissident who won the Nobel Peace Prize, has been informed of his award in prison and has dedicated it to those killed when the Chinese government crushed pro-democracy protests around Tiananmen Square in 1989, according to his wife.

Liu Xia said Sunday that she had been allowed to visit her husband over the weekend even as police continued to harass his jubilant supporters, holding three of them after breaking up a celebratory dinner in a Beijing restaurant on Friday night.

Officials at his prison in the northeastern city of Jinzhou had told him on Saturday that he had won the award, said Ms. Liu.

She said Chinese authorities were restricting her movements and blocking her mobile telephone, but in an email sent to a friend and forwarded to The Wall Street Journal, she said her husband dedicated the award to "all the lost souls" of the 1989 Tiananmen protests.

"They used their lives to enact the spirit of peace, democracy, freedom and nonviolence," she quoted him as saying. "Speaking about them, Xiaobo wept."

Despite a warning from China, the Norway-based Nobel Committee awarded the prize on Friday to 54-year-old Mr. Liu, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for "state subversion" in December. The committee paid tribute to his "long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."

Ms. Liu had been out of contact, her telephone apparently disconnected, since Friday night when she said police arrived at her home and told her they would escort her to see her husband in Jinzhou, about 300 miles from Beijing.

"Brothers, I have come back," Ms. Liu said Sunday in a message on Twitter that activist friends confirmed was genuine. "I was put under house arrest on the 8th. I don't know when I'll be able to see everybody. My mobile phone has been messed up, so I can't receive phone calls. I saw Xiaobo. The prison told him the news about his winning the prize on the evening of the 9th. The rest I'll share with time. Everyone please help me push. Thanks."

She did not say precisely where or how she met her husband, but she told The Wall Street Journal on Friday that she was permitted to visit him once a month and had last seen him on Sept. 7.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities continued to block almost all news and online discussion about the award, apart from an official denunciation, and to prevent fellow Chinese dissidents from celebrating publicly.

Activist Laureates

Nobel Peace Prize recipients include a number of advocates for political change.

View Full Image

A group of 17 democracy activists were detained by about 30 plainclothes and unformed police on Friday night as they arrived at a restaurant in Beijing to celebrate Mr. Liu's award, according to two people who attended the function.

He Yang, one of those who attended, told The Wall Street Journal that three of the activists—Wang Lihong, Wu Gan and Zhao Changqing—were ordered detained for eight days. Mr. He said he and another activist, Xu Zhiyong, were placed under house arrest. All the others were released.

"First they said they had to check our documents and then they suddenly took us all away," Mr. He said. "By using violence to stop such peaceful activity, they are only drawing more attention to our movement."

On Saturday evening, Cui Weiping, a Beijing Film Academy professor, organized a celebratory dinner of leading Chinese liberal intellectuals at a Beijing tourist hotel. However, security staff from the academy showed up and escorted Ms. Cui back to the academy before the dinner ended, according to a person who attended.

Supporters Celebrate Prize for Liu

View Slideshow

Kin Cheung/Associated Press
Protesters in Hong Kong Sunday call for the release of Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, imprisoned in China.

A Look at Liu's Influence

View Slideshow

Reuters
A photograph of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is held by his wife Liu Xia during an interview in Beijing October 3, 2010.

On Sunday, police told Zhou Duo, who took part in a hunger strike alongside Mr. Liu during the 1989 pro-democracy Tiananmen protests, to cancel a celebratory lunch he planned that day.

The U.S. and several other Western governments have congratulated Mr. Liu and called for his release, reflecting their renewed concerns about China's human-rights record after several years in which they have prioritized commercial and security issues.

However, China has denounced the decision as a "desecration" of the prize, raising fears that it could complicate relations with the West amid already rising tensions over China's more muscular diplomacy on issues including the value of its currency and its territorial claims.

The friction over territorial issues will be highlighted Monday at a meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, of defense chiefs from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus eight countries, including the China, the U.S. and Japan.

Robert Gates, the U.S. defense secretary, is due to meet his Chinese counterpart, Liang Guanglie, at the two-day meeting for the first time since China suspended military ties with Washington in January over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

China also has been angered by U.S. support for Japan in a row last month over disputed islands in the East China Sea, and for Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations that dispute China's increasingly assertive claims to almost all the South China Sea.

Mr. Liu's prize isn't expected to have an immediate impact on China's relations with the U.S., which has repeatedly called for his release since he was sentenced and is still primarily focused on repairing military ties and on pressing China to allow its currency to appreciate.

But over the long term, the award is expected to harden attitudes toward the West among Chinese officials, many of whom feel Western countries use human-rights issues to undermine China's recent progress and don't give the Chinese government enough credit for lifting millions out of poverty by promoting economic reforms.

Mr. Liu is the first Chinese dissident to be awarded the prize, although it went to the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, in 1989, after the Tiananmen Square protests. The Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India since 1959, says he is leading a peaceful struggle for greater autonomy within China, but Beijing regards him as a separatist.

Only two other peace laureates have received the prize while imprisoned by their governments: Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991 and the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky in 1935.

Nonetheless, the vast majority of Chinese people are still unaware of who Mr. Liu is, let alone of his award, as state-controlled media mostly has ignored the news and censors have blocked most online discussion about it, as well as text messages containing his name in Chinese.


What are the implications and significance Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize on the efforts to bring democracy and greater human rights in China? Rebecca Blumenstein, the Wall Street Journal's International Editor, and John Bussey, the Journal's Washington Bureau Chief, discuss the prize and its winner with Adam Najberg, Senior Editor for Video.

Most state media outlets reported only China's official reaction, but the Global Times—the most nationalistic official mouthpiece—criticized the prize as part of a Western plot to divide a rising China.

"Good Chinese have reason to suspect that the Nobel Peace Prize has been reduced to a political tool of Western interests," it said. "What they're doing now is using the Peace Prize to tear a hole in Chinese society."

A former literature professor who played a prominent role in the 1989 protests, Mr. Liu was convicted more than a year after his detention as lead author of Charter 08, a manifesto calling for free speech and multiparty elections.

He became odds-on favorite for the Peace Prize after getting international backing from figures including Vaclav Havel, the Czech dissident-turned-president who co-wrote the 1977 manifesto Charter 77, which inspired Charter 08.

ZippyTheChimp
October 11th, 2010, 08:30 AM
There is no two sides to the story. This guy is in prison for nothing.

lofter1
October 11th, 2010, 09:32 AM
And now the Chinese government has put his wife under house arrest ...

Wife Detained After Visiting Nobel Winner

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/world/asia/11nobel.html?_r=1&hpw)
By SHARON LaFRANIERE
October 10, 2010

BEIJING — The wife of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, was allowed to meet with her husband on Sunday at the prison in northeastern China where he is serving an 11-year sentence, but she was then escorted back to Beijing and placed under house arrest, a human rights group said.

Prison officials had informed Mr. Liu that he won the award — a decision vehemently condemned by the Chinese government — the day before. In their hourlong visit, Mr. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, said her husband had told her, “This is for the lost souls of June 4th,” and then was moved to tears.

Hundreds died June 4, 1989, in Beijing when Chinese troops and tanks crushed pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Mr. Liu told his wife the award commemorates the nonviolent spirit in which those who died fought for peace, freedom and democracy, the group, Human Rights in China, said in a statement.

In Beijing, Ms. Liu’s telephone and Internet communication has been cut off and state security officers are not allowing her to contact friends or the media, the statement said. Nor can she leave her house except in a police car, according to the group. Her brother’s phone has also been “interfered with,” the statement said ...

FULL ARTICLE (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/world/asia/11nobel.html?_r=1&hpw)

Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

hbcat
October 11th, 2010, 11:16 AM
Amnesty International (http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/chinese-authorities-must-reveal-whereabouts-wife-peace-prize-winner-2010-10-11) calls for the PRC authorities to disclose the whereabouts of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's wife:

CHINESE AUTHORITIES MUST REVEAL WHEREABOUTS OF WIFE OF PEACE PRIZE WINNER


Liu Xia is being harassed because of her husband's human rights work
© APGraphicsBank


Activist Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last week
© Private

11 October 2010
The Chinese authorities must immediately disclose the whereabouts of Liu Xia, the wife of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, Amnesty International said on Monday.

Amid reports that she has been detained by police and forced to leave Beijing to visit her husband in Jinzhou in Liao Ning province, where he is imprisoned by the authorities, Catherine Baber Deputy Amnesty International deputy director of Asia Pacific said:

"The Chinese authorities may want to play down the international focus Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize has placed on the thousands of prisoners of conscience held in China, but the harassment of Liu Xia is certainly not the way to achieve this.

"It is outrageous that Liu Xia be harassed just because her husband has received international recognition for his work for human rights. Her whereabouts must be disclosed immediately with confirmation that she remains a free citizen.

"The Chinese authorities would have far greater impact if they used this as an opportunity to release all those currently held in China for peacefully expressing their views and stopped harassing innocent citizens."

Liu Xiaobo, a scholar and author, is currently serving an 11-year sentence on charges of "inciting subversion of state power" imposed after an unfair trial.

The 54-year-old is a prominent government critic who has repeatedly called for human rights protections, political accountability and democratization in China.
READ MORE
Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize win puts spotlight on China rights violations (News, 8 October 2010)

hbcat
October 11th, 2010, 11:28 AM
There is no two sides to the story. This guy is in prison for nothing.

Actually, he is in prison for behaving like an exemplary citizen.


Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men, generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to put out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?

-- Henry David Thoreau, 1849

hbcat
October 11th, 2010, 11:41 AM
My translation of Liu Xia's last Twitter message, from October 10 --

"Friends -- I have returned [home/Beijing]. I was arrested on the 8th. I do not know when I can see anyone. My [cell] phone has been shut down and I cannot receive calls. I saw Xiaobo, and I told him of the Prize. We took it slowly. Please help me push [tweet/retweet] on. Thank you."

Original here in Chinese:
http://twitter.com/#!/liuxia64

This account is her principal contact with the media, e.g. The Guardian, so I trust its accuracy, as far as internet content can be trusted at least.

hbcat
October 12th, 2010, 02:29 AM
Intellectuals held in China crackdown after Liu Xiaobo gets Nobel peace prize (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/10/intellectuals-detained-nobel-celebration)
Reaction 'predictable and stupid' says head of writers' group


Jonathan Watts
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 10 October 2010 15.27 BST
Article history

Pro-democracy protesters calling for the release of Liu Xiaobo carry his picture as they march to China's liaison office in Hong Kong today. Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP
More than 30 Chinese intellectuals have been detained, warned or placed under house arrest in a crackdown aimed at stifling celebration following the award of the Nobel peace prize to the imprisoned democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo.

There are concerns for the laureate's wife, Liu Xia, who has not been seen since she went to visit her husband in Jinzhou prison earlier today, and whose phone line has been cut.

She did, however, tweet today that she had visited her husband and that he had been told yesterday that he had won the award. She said he had cried and dedicated his prize to the "dead spirits of Tiananmen".

Zhang Yu, the Stockholm-based head of the Writers in Prison Committee of the freedom of expression group, Independent Chinese PEN Centre (ICPC), called the authorities' reaction predictable and stupid. "They have tried to block the flow of information on the internet, detain people and cut telephone communications ... I'm sure they have planned for this."

The Norwegian Nobel peace prize committee announced on Friday that Liu, a former literature professor who co-drafted the Charter 08 campaign for increased political liberties in China, was this year's winner.

A host of world leaders including Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the former Czech president Vaclav Havel commended the decision, but the Chinese government responded with fury.

The foreign ministry summoned the Norwegian ambassador and declared the decision a "blasphemy" and insult to the Chinese people.

Censors blacked out foreign broadcasts of the announcement and police were mobilised to choke any sign of domestic support for Liu.

About 20 of those targeted by the crackdown were at a celebration party in Beijing on Friday night that was broken up by police. Three are now under eight days' administrative detention for "disturbing social order", while the others have been put under house arrest or heightened surveillance.

"There are two police outside my apartment building. I can't go out," said Liu Jingsheng, a recipient of the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write award. "This kind of thing happens from time to time in Beijing during the People's Congress and other politically sensitive periods, but it is tougher now."

Lawyer Teng Biao said police had prevented him from meeting journalists and had warned him not to talk about the award or attend a celebration banquet.

The authorities appear to have focused particular attention on the ICPC, of which Liu was a member. The group's deputy secretary general Jiang Bo is among at least 10 members who have been warned. Two are under house arrest and one – Zhao Changqing – has been detained.

Supporters hope that Liu Xia will collect the prize on behalf of her husband at the award ceremony in Europe later this year. If she were then to be denied re-entry into China, they say this might pave the way for the authorities to release Liu Xiaobo before the end of his jail term so he could join her overseas.

This scenario seems optimistic given the Chinese government's recent unwillingness to release political prisoners, but the award has inspired hope.

Jiang Danwen, the deputy secretary general of ICPC, said police had warned him not to comment on the prize and were now parked outside his Shanghai home. He said, however, that the inconvenience was worthwhile.

"Actually I feel very happy. The reaction shows the award has really shocked the government."

hbcat
October 12th, 2010, 02:37 AM
IN case you were wondering...

Chavez backs China over Nobel for jailed dissident
(AP) – 1 day ago
CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expressed solidarity with China's government Sunday over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a jailed Chinese dissident.
He suggested the prize should not have gone to Liu Xiaobo, who has drawn praise from Western governments as an advocate of gradual political change without any violent confrontation with Chinese leaders.
"This (Liu) is like Obama, the other peace prize," Chavez said.
The Venezuelan leader criticized last year's award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama, saying the U.S. president didn't deserve the honor because his administration continues to engage in wars.
Speaking in his weekly radio and television program, Chavez scoffed at his Venezuelan political opponents who praised the giving of the peace prize to Liu.
Chavez said the opposition's support for the prize showed that "they are lackeys" of the West. "They are worse than the Yankees."
"Our greetings and solidarity go to the government of the People's Republic of China," Chavez said, adding: "Viva China! And its sovereignty, its independence and its greatness."
The Chinese government reacted angrily to the announcement of the peace prize for Liu. It said the Norwegian Nobel Committee violated its own principles by honoring a "criminal."
Chavez's government has intensified its diplomatic and trade relations with China as part of Chavez's effort to diversify sales of the country's oil. The United States, which Chavez accuses of trying to dominate the region, remains the biggest buyer of Venezuelan oil.
Venezuela is one of the largest world oil exporters and China one of the largest consumers. The Venezuelan government plans to increase its oil sales to China to 1 million barrels a day by 2012 and build three refineries in China.

lofter1
October 12th, 2010, 11:52 AM
Chavez revealed, by his own petard ...

hbcat
October 14th, 2010, 11:37 PM
^ Thanks, lofter. "Petard" is in my reading vocabulary but I took a moment to look it up. You know, life-long education and all. I like it and will keep it at the ready when occasion calls.

Etymology for "petard" --
Origin: 1590–1600; < MF, equiv. to pet ( er ) to break wind (deriv. of pet < L pēditum a breaking wind, orig. neut. of ptp. of pēdere to break wind) + -ard -ard


Read this if you are interested in China, the twenty-first century, the future of civilization, and so on --

Charter 08 Framer Liu Xiaobo Awarded Nobel Peace Prize. The Troubled History and Future of Chinese Liberalism (http://japanfocus.org/-Chongyi-Feng/3427)

Ninjahedge
October 15th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Isn't there a phrase: "Lifted OFF one's own petard" or is that just a mis-quoting of the real one (Lifted BY his own petard?)?

I always thought it was either your bum or some article/component of clothing that was located nearby.... [doofus]

lofter1
October 15th, 2010, 02:17 PM
Actually "hoist with his own petard" as Will once said (http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxhoistw.html) [wrote]

hbcat
October 16th, 2010, 12:24 AM
^ Thanks again, then.

lofter1
October 16th, 2010, 01:09 AM
And thanks to you for posting the Charter 08 history.

Ninjahedge
October 18th, 2010, 08:41 AM
Actually "hoist with his own petard" as Will once said (http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxhoistw.html) [wrote]

Yep, that is what I was thinking of. It came to me well after posting and while driving somewhere taht had NOTHING to do with this subject or the euphamism.....

hbcat
October 19th, 2010, 07:34 AM
Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Prize and the hubbub surrounding him and his story is just the tip of a very big Chinese-size iceberg going generally unnoticed by the rest of the world. Political reform will come to China, in what form and when is anyone's guess. But there are growing signs that the regime is facing an internal crisis:

Talk of rift as China’s Communist Party meets (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/asia-pacific/talk-of-rift-as-chinas-communist-party-meets/article1759856/)
MARK MACKINNON
BEIJING — From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Oct. 15, 2010 7:20PM EDT
Last updated Friday, Oct. 15, 2010 7:23PM EDT

Under intense internal and external pressure to deal with the question of political reform, China’s ruling Communist Party gathered in Beijing and tried to shift the focus back to its five-year plan for ensuring more even growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

The distractions, however, continued to pile on even as the conclave opened, with more than 100 intellectuals and activists distributing a new open letter calling for the release of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

There is also growing talk of a rare rift within the nine-member Politburo, with Premier Wen Jiabao speaking out repeatedly in recent weeks about the need for political reform, only to have some of his remarks censored by the same government he heads.

Though little news emerged from the first hours of the four-day gathering of the party’s powerful Central Committee, the official Xinhua newswire suggested that “fairness” and “inclusive growth” will be themes of the coming five-year plan, which is also expected to set an annual target for the expansion of the national economy of 7 or 7.5 per cent for the years 2011-2015.

According to state media, inclusive growth means an attempt to deal with the income gap in the country, which has widened to dangerous levels. The World Bank reported in 2009 that the Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, in China had pushed past the warning line of 0.4 to 0.47. The country has seen an upsurge in labour unrest in recent months that shut foreign factories and forced the government to reconsider its previous emphasis on economic growth at almost any cost.

“Inclusive growth refers to taking into account other factors, not just economic growth, but environmental impact and the impact on people’s lives,” said Rosealea Yao, an analyst at Dragonomics, a Beijing-based research firm. “You’re going to see more spending on social services.”

It’s not clear what impact a lower growth target will have on China’s economy, which in recent years has routinely exceeded 8 per cent annual targets to post double-digit expansion, but it’s believed that the leadership favours some cooling. The country’s gross domestic product has grown 90-fold since late leader Deng Xiaoping began introducing economic reforms in 1978, and this year surpassed Japan’s to become the second-largest in the world after the United States.

Much of that growth, however, has relied on cheap labour, an asset called into question by the recent spate of strikes. The country’s social safety net has also fallen into disrepair over the same three decades, leaving hundreds of millions of Chinese with little in the way of pensions or access to affordable health care, dampening efforts to promote domestic consumer spending.

The five-year plan will be finalized by the end of the Central Committee plenum (which has 204 members and 167 alternate members), but will not be published until it is passed by China’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress, next March.

In addition to finalizing the five-year plan, the Communist Party is expected in the coming days to make clear the shape of its leadership after Mr. Wen and President Hu Jintao retire in 2012. Vice-President Xi Jinping is expected to be named to the country’s Central Military Commission, the last step in securing his power base before his assumed rise to the presidency in 2012.

If Mr. Xi, who was expected to receive the same promotion a year ago, isn’t given a military position, it might suggest disagreement within the Politburo over who the next generation of leaders should be.

Mr. Xi is seen as affiliated with the Party’s conservative “royalty” – his father was head of the Communist Party's propaganda department, and later vice-chairman of the National People’s Congress – which might put him at odds with Mr. Wen, who in recent weeks has mentioned the need for political reform in at least seven separate addresses.

While Mr. Wen is arguably the most popular politician in the country, it’s not clear how much support he has inside the Politburo or the Central Committee. He has referred to “resistance” within the party in his attempts to push reform, and crucial chunks of his recent speeches have been ignored by most of China’s state-controlled media.

The Premier was given a boost this week when 23 party elders released a letter backing Mr. Wen and calling for the government to end its “embarrassing” practice of censorship and to allow freedom of speech. On Friday, the independent-minded Southern Weekend newspaper became the first major media outlet in the country to publish the full text of Mr. Wen’s recent interview with CNN, during which he said “the people’s wishes for and needs for democracy and freedom are irresistible.”

Another open letter, signed by more than 100 activists, was released Friday calling for Mr. Liu to be released from his prison in Liaoning province, where he is serving an 11-year jail term for “inciting subversion” for his role in drafting the pro-democracy manifesto known as Charter 08. The letter also called for his wife, Liu Xia, to be freed from the house arrest she was placed under following the Nobel Prize announcement so that she can travel to Oslo to collect the award on her husband’s behalf.

Ninjahedge
October 19th, 2010, 09:06 AM
Read the intro....


I think Xiaobo might be one that has the right idea with peaceful reform.

Repressing the moderates calling for reform only increases the backpressure and fuels the radicals. Change can either be gradual and controlled or sudden and violent.

If it is the latter, the world will pay the price, not just China.