read all- When the police came for Liu Xiaobo on a December night nearly two years ago, they didn’t tell the dissident author why he was being taken away again. The line in the detention order for his “suspected crime” was left blank.
But Liu and the dozen officers who crowded into his dark Beijing apartment knew the reason. He was hours from releasing Charter 08, the China democracy movement’s most comprehensive call yet for peaceful reform. The document would be viewed by the ruling Communist Party as a direct challenge to its 60-year monopoly on political power.
Liu was sentenced last Christmas Day to 11 years in prison for subversion. The 54-year old literary critic is now a favorite to win the Nobel Peace Prize — in what would be a major embarrassment to the Chinese government.
This set of articles from China Digital Times has broadcasted this woman’s experiences “being called for tea” by state security agents (like the KGB) because she 1. signed Charter 08 (a charter describing the need human rights and democracy in China) and 2. because she has been so public that the Washington Post intervied her.
So she was in trouble but you can’t really tell much from her experience, well, the KGB characteristics are a bit nuanced in this context. I just hope the people who battled in the front lines have paved the way for her to able to get away with voicing her values. I hope she will have adequate support, if not, the CCP will be too eager to get rid of her and spare her no agony…
I especially liked reading the last entry because there are lot’s of supportive comments towards Xiaozhao
On the sixth floor of an apartment building there lives a veteran of the opaque, unforgiving world of Chinese statecraft. Bao Tong, 76, was a top aide and speechwriter for the secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in the 1980s. Now he lives under virtual house arrest, his every move observed, every visitor screened by a handful of guards, every conversation presumably monitored. The Communist Party would clearly like him to fade into oblivion, to live out the rest of his days caring for his goldfish and taking walks in the park. But Bao Tong has no intention of going out quietly. (See pictures of China on the wild side.)
Over the past month Bao has repeatedly questioned the authoritarian nature of China’s central government — in very public ways. He helped draft Charter 08, a lengthy pro-democracy online manifesto initially published in early December by 303 mainland writers, scholars and artists, a number that has since grown to several thousand. Soon after, he released a series of essays through Radio Free Asia that questioned the very motivations and accomplishments of the Party.
Bao Tong says his decision to sign the landmark Charter comes from a long-held regret over joining the Communist Party as a young man. “Sixty years ago I wanted violence. In order to promote Leninism and communism, I joined this Party…I signed Charter 08 to correct my mistake of 60 years ago,” Bao said one recent afternoon in the Beijing apartment he shares with his wife. Bao’s face is visibly weary, but he sits with an erect posture, and his eyes flash as he discusses history and politics. “This is not about using violent means to change society,” he says. “It’s about using peaceful, rational means. Everything I do can be boiled down to one word: patriotism.”
Telegraph: Prof Xu [Xu Youyu (徐友渔)] said he was deeply pessimistic about the future. He acknowledged the point that there were leaders now in high office who had very similar experiences to his own – disillusionment with the Cultural Revolution, adoption of a reform agenda, study abroad – but, as he put it, “it is the seat that is important, not the personal view”. In other words, the very act of joining the apparatus removed any scope for personal opinion to emerge, and by the time you reached the top, it was too late – your mast was firmly attached to the (single) sail. He saw little chance for reform from within. In these circumstances, the only position for intellectuals such as him was to stand apart and hold on to their personal truths, such as those espoused in the Charter.
In fact, elsewhere in the interview he was less bleak. He rightly located some of the arguments about the Charter in the very lively debate in China’s intellectual world, including newspapers, between those who believe that notions of human rights, freedom of speech and democracy and so on are “universal values” to which China should ascribe, or whether they are Western values which West-friendly academics (such as him) are trying to impose on an unwilling and unready nation. Prof Xu, needless to say, argues for the former, and wonders whether those who argue against are really serious. What world do they believe in?