Yu Jie: China's Fault Lines
Yu Jie is one of China’s most prominent essayists and critics, with more than thirty books to his name. His latest work is a biography of his friend, the jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. Authorities warned Yu that he too would be jailed if the book was published and in January, he fled China with his wife and son for the United States.
July 14, 2012
Beijing's Human Rights Problem
On January 13, President Obama invited me and four other activists and scholars to meet with him at the White House to discuss the current state of human rights and reform in China. The meeting, which lasted more than an hour, took place as the president prepares for this week’s meeting with Chinese president Hu Jintao in Washington. He wanted to know whether we think his approach on these issues is working, and how that approach might be improved.
January 18, 2011
At the Nobel Ceremony: Liu Xiaobo's Empty Chair
On December 10, I attended the award ceremony in Oslo, Norway, for the Nobel Peace Prize, which the government of China had a few days earlier declared to be a “farce.” The recipient was a friend of mine, the Chinese scholar and essayist Liu Xiaobo, whom Oslo was now referring to as a Laureate and Beijing as a “criminal” serving an eleven-year sentence for “incitement to subvert state power.”
December 13, 2010
Signs of Reform in Beijing?
Over the past six weeks, China’s thin class of the politically aware has been gripped by a faint hope that maybe, against all odds, some sort of political opening might be in the cards this year. Monday’s conclusion of a key Communist Party meeting didn’t exactly crush this hope, but it did put things in a much more sober perspective.
October 20, 2010
Defending Liu Xiaobo
It would be hard to overstate how much the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo on October 8 has meant to China’s community of dissidents, bloggers, and activists. Not only has it lifted their spirits tremendously; many also view it as a possible turning point in the long struggle to bring democracy and human rights to their country. Their ebullience seems unaffected by the hostile reaction of the Chinese government, which has called the Nobel Committee’s decision “obscene” and an “insult to China.” Chinese authorities have spread the message in China’s state-run media that Liu Xiaobo is a criminal serving time in prison, but without quoting even a small sample of the words or ideas that have caused him to be there; and they have escalated their harassment of Liu’s friends and colleagues.
October 18, 2010