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    » 12/13/2010, 00.00

    CHINA

    Beijing’s ham fisted response to Liu Xiaobo affair



    Analysts, politicians and journalists around the world agree: the attitude of complete closure with respect to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo has seriously impacted on the Chinese government’s attempt to rehabilitate itself after the Tiananmen Square massacre.

    Beijing (AsiaNews) - The Chinese attitude towards the Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo, " clearly shows the mask has slipped and Beijing has again revealed a forbidding, autocratic scowl”, today writes the influential Financial Times newspaper, adding its voice to the number of analysts and experts who are criticizing the Chinese attitude towards the ceremony in Oslo.

    Times Wang, the son of Wang Bingzhang (a Chinese dissident jailed for life for his political activities) explains: " the Party's strategy to discredit Liu and the Nobel prize is the saddest irony. Instead of being proud that a Chinese was being awarded for the first time, the Party fills its people's hearts with hatred".

    Nicholas Bequelin, a researcher at Human Rights Watch: "The ham-fisted response to the Nobel crisis has dramatically undermined Beijing's post-Tiananmen efforts to rehabilitate its image It becomes harder for China's interlocutors to sweep aside human rights in bilateral or multilateral relations".

    The president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, has even joined the chorus, asking the Chinese government to release Liu Xiaobo, "As a nation that values human rights, we ask to mainland China to free the dissident as soon as possible."

    On Friday night, coinciding with the ceremony of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, at least four Chinese websites posted pictures of the empty chair in Oslo reserved for the winner of the prize. According to a blogger on website Weibo, a banner of congratulations to Liu was hung from a building at the University of Changsha, Hunan, and removed a few minutes later by the university authorities. A photo of the banner was spread on Twitter, where it survived only 30 seconds before being cleared.

    Dissidents were unable to send strong signals of support for the award of the Nobel Prize to Liu, but Chinese dissidents in exile believe that the award to a professor of literature who is serving 11 years in prison for having promoted the pro- Democracy document Charter 08, "has given a new impetus to the Chinese democracy movement."

    Yang Jianli, an exile who spent five years in prison for his participation in the democratic movement of 1989, said: "The most important change that the award makes is the change in people's hearts. Now people will take the democratic movement more seriously. "

    Su Xiaokang, the scriptwriter of the TV series River Elegy (a critical review of Chinese culture that contributed to the development of the movement of 1989), highlighted the pacifist message of the Nobel Prize, "Liu said, we do not want violence, we need of peaceful development and we must abide by the Constitution. "

    The anti-AIDS activist Wan Yanhai, who is in exile in the U.S. to escape the increasing attention of the police, claimed that Liu Xiaobo has "solid and moderate views and is not among those who support 'extremism”'. In China, dozens of dissidents and friends of the Nobel Prize winner, including his wife, Liu Xia, remain under house arrest. At least 140 dissidents were captured by Chinese police since early October, when everything pointed towards  the Nobel Peace Prize going to Liu. Dozens more, were deported out of Beijing on the eve of the award ceremony.

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    See also

    20/02/2014 CHINA
    Beijing, Liu Xia hospitalized: friends say authorities have destroyed her health
    The wife of jailed Nobel Laureate, Liu Xiaobo, had a heart attack and suffers from depression. After trying in vain to leave China to be hospitalized abroad, she was rejected treatment by several hospitals in Beijing . Her current whereabouts is and actual health condition unclear.

    25/11/2010 CHINA
    Arrests and control: only one activist in Oslo for Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel
    The Nobel Committee has reserved 30 to 50 seats for friends of Liu, but has so far secured only the presence of Wan Yanhai, who fled to America last May. Prof. He Guanghui, a professor at Renmin, was detained at Beijing airport. Zhang Zuhua, Bao Tong, Ding Zilin all under house arrest.

    08/10/2010 CHINA – NORWAY
    Nobel Prize goes to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo
    The scholar, author and first signatory of Chart 08, was awarded the prize because of his long-standing non-violent struggle for democracy and peace. For Beijing, it is an “obscenity”.

    09/12/2010 CHINA - TIBET
    2010, a black year for human rights in Tibet, highlighted by Liu Nobel
    Arrests of monks and intellectuals, death sentences and life imprisonment, Tibetan deleted as the language of academic study: the persecution continues in Tibet. The exiled Tibetan prime minister praises the award to Liu and recalls the Pope’s commitment of in favor of the human person.

    09/12/2011 CHINA
    Nobel Laureates in support of Liu Xiaobo, imprisoned for 11 years
    The dissident is the only winner of the Nobel Prize in prison. His “immediate and unconditional release” demanded by Shirin Ebadi, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams, Desmond Tutu and Vaclav Havel. The West has forgotten him.



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