Maria Holland

Congratulations, Liu XiaoBo

In Uncategorized on October 10, 2010 at 11:47 am

I was following the announcement of the Nobel Prizes this year (wondering if Bono was going to follow in the illustrious footsteps of our president), and was happy to see Liu XiaoBo recognized. 

Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”.  For the same thing, he was also awarded a fourth prison sentence from the PRC. 

This prison sentence is for the Charter 08, “a manifesto initially signed by over 350 Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists to promote political reform and democratization in the People’s Republic of China.”

The authors and signatories called for 19 changes to improve human rights in China:

  1. Amending the Constitution.
  2. Separation of powers.
  3. Legislative democracy.
  4. An independent judiciary.
  5. Public control of public servants.
  6. Guarantee of human rights.
  7. Election of public officials.
  8. Rural–urban equality.
  9. Freedom of association.
  10. Freedom of assembly.
  11. Freedom of expression.
  12. Freedom of religion.
  13. Civic education.
  14. Protection of private property.
  15. Financial and tax reform.
  16. Social security.
  17. Protection of the environment.
  18. A federated republic.
  19. Truth in reconciliation.

Anyway, China was really upset with a guy like this getting such important international acclaim.  They threatened the Norwegian government with “negative reactions” – to which the Norwegian foreign minister replied that the Nobel Prize nomination committee is independent from the Norwegian government.  He supposedly added that said independence may be difficult for the Chinese government to understand.

Oh, snap.

But anyway, the reason I’m writing about this is because, taking advantage of the fact that I am no longer a resident of China, I decided to spread the news of Liu’s prize.  The Chinese government’s censorship went into full effect immediately after the announcement, so not many Chinese (and possibly even Liu himself) know of the award. 

So I put it on my QQ status:

“Did you hear?  Liu XiaoBo won the Nobel Peace Prize – the first Chinese person!”

Today I got my first comment:

“That should be the second Chinese person.  In 1989 there was a monk, but his name can’t be written here.  He was also Chinese; he never said that he wasn’t Chinese!”

That was not the response I was expecting.  Very interesting . . .

  1. I’m glad he won the Nobel, saddened that his government is not.

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