11:47 AM, Dec 23, 2011 • By ELLEN BORK
For China’s communist leaders, Christmas is a time for repression. Liu Xiaobo, the writer, activist, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was sentenced to 11 years for “incitement to subversion of state power” on December 25, 2009. The indictment listed several of his essays, as well as his role in the Charter 08 initiative, as the basis for the charges.
Today, a court in Sichuan province handed down a nine-year sentence to Chen Wei on similar charges, also for his writings. Chen Wei’s case is part of a larger crackdown inspired by the Communist Party’s fear that Chinese citizens might emulate Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” and other Arab pro-democracy protest movements. Both Liu’s and Chen’s sentences are unusually harsh and reflect the Communist Party’s fear that powerful writings on the Internet are damaging the Party’s control. The essays cited by the court as evidence of Chen’s subversion focused on his arguments about the Communist Party.
Chen’s wife, Wang Xiaoyan, told the BBC, “He is a very patriotic man. He did criticize the Communist Party, but that's stating the facts. That is not subversion.” Well said.
Secretary Clinton should say the same thing from Prague where she is paying America’s respects to Vaclav Havel, a great champion of China’s human rights activists, who wrote to General Secretary Hu Jintao in 2010: “[T]here is nothing subversive to state security when intellectuals, artists, writers and academics exercise their core vocation: to think, re-think, ask questions, criticize, act creatively, and try to initiate open dialogue.”
It’s worth reading today, “Paranoia in Hong Kong,” a Wall Street Journal Asia editorial about Chinese claims that Stephen Young, the U.S. consul general in Hong Kong, is “interfering” in Hong Kong affairs.
The Journal describes Ambassador Young’s supposed offenses, all of which actually amount to defending the autonomy China promised Hong Kong and the special relationship Hong Kong enjoys in U.S. law as a result. The Journal posits that the motivation for the stepped up attacks on Young have to do with stronger U.S. criticisms of China’s human rights record. That is undoubtedly part of it, but another explanation is that Beijing is meddling more, and more overtly than ever before – see this piece from October – and uses its hysterical attacks to deter U.S. criticisms of the erosion of the “one country, two systems” principle that China and Great Britain promised Hong Kong.
12:01 PM, Dec 19, 2011 • By ELLEN BORK
Vaclav Havel, who died yesterday, will perhaps be remembered most of all for his role in the civic initiative Charter 77, which led to his country’s Velvet Revolution and inspired dissidents throughout the Soviet bloc to defeat communism.
And America's polite response.3:31 PM, Mar 31, 2011 • By KELLEY CURRIE
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu took a question at a press conference on Tuesday about the disappearance of another dissident. Her response, which quickly pinged around the Chinese online community and its English-language China-watching counterparts, was to blithely assert: "I have not heard of that person."
Jan 24, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 18 • By ELLEN BORK
As President Obama prepares to welcome China’s Communist party general secretary Hu Jintao to Washington for a state visit on January 19, it’s easy to get nostalgic about an earlier era in U.S.-China relations. Throughout the 1990s, there was at least the prospect that America would use the political capital of a summit meeting to force concessions on human rights.
Dec 20, 2010, Vol. 16, No. 14 • By ELLEN BORK
The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese intellectual serving an 11-year jail sentence on subversion charges, has accomplished two great things.
8:03 AM, Dec 10, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama issued the following statement this morning on Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiabo:
11:49 AM, Dec 9, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
Tomorrow, the Nobel Peace Prize committee will give its award to jailed Chinese human rights advocate Liu Xiabo. How is China responding? In short, not well.
4:50 PM, Oct 18, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
When Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize last week, the authoritarians in Beijing responded in their typical, iron-fisted fashion.
5:43 PM, Oct 13, 2010 • By ELLEN BORK
An EU diplomat and diplomats from 10 European countries tried to deliver a letter of congratualtions from EU Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso to Liu Xia, the wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo at her home in Beijing.
More reactions to Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Prize.11:27 AM, Oct 12, 2010 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Ellen Bork's roundup of Nobel Peace Prize reactions yesterday deserves a postscript. Hugo Chávez of Venezuela sucked up to his ideological comrades in Beijing (not to mention very large customers of Venezuelan oil) in memorable fashion:
10:38 AM, Oct 11, 2010 • By ELLEN BORK
Here are a few reactions to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize on October 8 to the writer and literary critic Liu Xiaobo, who was sentenced in December 2009 to an 11-year sentence for “incitement to subversion of state power” for his writings about democracy and human rights and his association with the Charter 08 democracy manifesto:
The Obama administration won't help dissident Yu Jie.4:51 PM, Jul 14, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
Last week, Chinese novelist Yu Jie was taken into custody and interrogated by the State Security Bureau after announcing that he would soon be publishing a book, titled China's Best Actor: Wen Jiabao, about China's premier.
Part II.3:22 PM, Feb 9, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
On Christmas Day 2009, the Chinese regime sentenced writer and dissident Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison for "incitement to subvert state power." His crime was co-authoring and circulating on-line a manifesto for democratic change in China called Charter 08, an intentional homage to the Czech dissident movement's Charter 77. Charter 08 got Mr. Liu into trouble because it challenged the legitimacy of one-party rule by the Chinese Communist Party.
The WaPo reports on how the ChiComs bought Congress.3:11 PM, Jan 9, 2010 • By KELLEY CURRIE
Today is one of those days that reminds me why I still have a subscription to the dead tree version of my local newspaper, the Washington Post. The reason: an interesting front-page story by long-time China hand John Pomfret on China's increasingly effective lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill (the Pomfret piece, if anything underplays the growing Chinese presence -- and effectiveness -- on the Hill, especially because it does not get at the various "fronts" the Chinese use as force multipliers), juxtaposed with a column on the op-ed page that reprinted the letter by Vaclav Havel and other former Czech dissident leaders to Chinese President Hu Jintao, protesting the outrageous imprisonment of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who on Christmas Eve was sentenced to 11 years in a Chinese gulag for circulating an on-line petition calling for freedom and democracy.
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