Saturday, October 09, 2010

Who is Liu Xiaobo and Why Less is More

2010 Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo highlighted the Chinese communist government's heavy hand approach on political dissidents. Liu is serving a 17 years jail.

However, it might be a little bit misleading because the favored strategy on political dissidents is, actually, deportation to western countries. The government had come to the conclusion that once a democratic advocate is removed from the country, so will be his influence and reputation. The government will be able to paint the person as coward and clown since they would be afraid to return to the home country that they had claimed they loved.

In addition, the communist government was not worried about those radical democratic campaigns. Its propaganda branch does a shabby job overall, but just good enough to make most people believe China will definitely fall to chaos without the Party's totalitarian leadership.

Liu is different from most other democratic activists in China. He is sometimes seen as really to take comprised deal and happy for tiny steps towards 'freer' society. During the democratic movement in 1989 and right before the Tian'anmen Massacre took place, Liu tried persuading students back off to avoid clash with the People's Liberation Army. Surviving the massacre, Liu did not attempt to flee the country as many other celebrities did, but rather surrendered to the authorities and served long time jailing time. He was put under house arrest after being released, and went to jail another couple of times before sentenced to 17 years last year. On the other hand, Liu never gave up fighting for his country and his people by writing articles, even during his house arrest. Liu is a calm observer and never step out of line. Liu advocate for materialize whatever the communists regime had promised rather than pushing for political changes. This made Liu a most dangerous enemy of the State, because many agree with his thoughts.

The smoking gun which led to Liu's most recent arrest and 17 years jail time was a document entitled 'Charter 2008'. It's something like a petition to the government for recognition of most fundamental elements of human rights. Hundreds of notable scholars co-signed the document/letter, which was drafted by Liu. Again, the document was dangerous, because it formally asks for what had been promised publicly and repeatedly by the regime. Well, it asks for less than 1 percent of what had been promised and asks for a recognition that not even 1 percent of what had been promised were in place. Some overseas Chinese dissidents opposed Liu's award, accusing him of being "too soft". However, Liu's power comes from being soft, and he knew the mighty and took the consequence.

It's a good decision made by the Nobel Peace Committee. We hope the monetary award may help improve Liu's family living condition. His wife has been steadfastly supportive of Liu's sacrifice for the country, and she looks very exhausted.

The reflection in China are bimodal. The online community overwhelmingly hailed the news, while most of off-line population did not know, did not care.

There are two Nobel Laureates were born in the city of Changchun, Jilin Province in the year of 2010. Japanese citizen Ei-ichi Negishi who was born in Chaungchun in 1931 shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with two other collaborators.

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