25 December 2009

Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo with his wife, Liu Xia, in 2002.
(Agence France Press/Getty Images)

Following a travesty of a "trial" the Chinese Government has imprisoned Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison for subversion. You can read reports from The New York Times here and from The Guardian here. For more background and relevant links see this earlier post.

Labels: , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many things to appreciate and enjoy in China, but their corrupt and brutal legal system is not one of them. My heart goes out to his family and supporters. This harsh sentence is truly and profoundly unjust.

25 December, 2009 17:19  
Blogger bobby fletcher said...

Liu Xiaobo has received hundreds of thousands of US government funding via the NED in the past five years. Check NED's China grants for Independent Chinese Pen Center and Minzhu Zhongguo magazine, which Liu heads.

If Liu is American he would be in violation of FARA (Froeign Agent Registration Act).

08 January, 2010 19:39  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

So, bobby, you are defending the Chinese regime here? Let's say for the sake of argument that there is something inherently wrong with NED funding. (I am not sure, in fact, that that is the case.) So what? The bottom line is that the Chinese regime is suppressing freedom of speech and association in repressive ways.

09 January, 2010 11:42  
Blogger bobby fletcher said...

Jim, feel free to check Wikipedia for NEDls's relationship with our Cngress and the CIA.

Pray tell, why would we lament Chinese money corrupting our political process, while sending many folds more to China, to corrupt their political process? Advocating overthrowing of the Chinese government? Abolition of China’s constitution?

This is by no means a straight foward case of free speech. Liu took foreign money the Chinese government has every right to prohibit (as we do under FARA.)

10 January, 2010 19:03  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...


I am not a fan of the CIA. And I am not doubting that they are up to their elbows trying to create mischief all over the place. But they did funnel money, for instance, to Solidarity activists in pre-1989 Poland. Should the opposition Poles have turned it down? Would you have defended the imposition of marshal law in response to the early Soldarnosc challenge to the regime?

Yes, the Chinese government has the rights of a sovereign nation. But those rights - not just in China, but elsewhere, operate often to rationalize/justify inexcusably repressive state activities.

We should simply not be in the business of locking up dissenters - whether that be done by governments in the U.S. or China or elsewhere.

The alternative? What about simply responding to the political complaints on Liu and his compatriots? What about talking back? And to the best of my knowledge Liu was not charged with taking money from the CIA front (since the trial was a charade, there is scant information concerning what he was charged with). He was charged with saying things the regime does not like, with making demands for a set of perfectly unobjectionable political reforms. (And, of course, the Charter in Beijing for which Liu was arrested, owes at least some of its inspiration to Charter 77 in Prague - any bets as to whether the Czechoslovak opposition were aided and abetted by the CIA?)

10 January, 2010 20:05  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home