Reblog: Perry Link: 112th Congress USA about Liu Xiaobo 6th Dec. 2011
After a quick online exchange with Nathan Link who was very kind to share this paper by Perry Link: original source: I decided to reblog parts of the document because it is relevant and important for all Lobbyists wishing to Free the Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo from inside and outside Asia to have access to the information submitted to the 112th USA Congress on the 6th Dec. 2011.
Please post a message if there’s anything you would like to add in this matter, in any language of your choice:
Get Full Congressional Document PDF click here
Selected Excerpts from Perry Link’s submission to Congress USA:
Statement for the Hearing
of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China
of the 112 th Congress of the United States
December 6, 2011
University of California
Of Liu Xiaobo:
“Liu Xiaobo is one of those unusual people who can look at human life from the broadest of perspectives and reason about it from first principles. His keen intellect notices things that others also look at, but do not see. It seems that hardly any topic in Chinese culture, politics, or society evades his interest, and he can write with analytic calm about upsetting things. One might expect such calm in a recluse—a hermit poet, or a cloistered scholar—but in Liu Xiaobo it comes in an activist. Time after time he has gone where he thinks he should go, and has done what he thinks he should do, as if havoc, danger, and the possibility of prison were simply not part of the picture. He seems to move through life taking mental notes on what he sees, hears, and reads, as well as on the inward responses that he feels. Fortunately for us, his readers, he also has a habit of writing free from fear…
Of the Nobel Peace Prize 2010:
Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. For about two decades, the prize committee in Oslo, Norway, had been considering Chinese dissidents for the award, and in 2010, after Liu Xiaobo had been sentenced to eleven years in prison for “incitement of subversion”— largely because of his advocacy of the human-rights manifesto called Charter 08—he had come to emerge as the right choice. Authorities in Beijing, furious at the committee’s announcement on October 8, 2010, did what they could to frustrate celebrations of it. Police broke up parties of revelers in several Chinese cities. The Chinese Foreign Ministry pressured world diplomats to stay away from the Award Ceremony in Oslo on December 10. Dozens of Liu Xiaobo’s friends in China were barred from leaving the country lest they head for Oslo.
Of Liu Xia (wife of Liu Xiaobo):
Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, although charged with nothing, was held under tight house arrest. Liu himself remained in prison, and none of his family members could travel to Oslo to collect the prize. At the Award Ceremony, the prize medal, resting inside a small box, and the prize certificate, in a folder that bore the initials “LXB,” were placed on stage on an empty chair. Within hours authorities in Beijing banned the phrase “empty chair” from the Chinese Internet.
Of Past Nobel Peace Prize Winners:
Liu was the fifth Peace Laureate to fail to appear for the Award Ceremony. In 1935, Carl von Ossietzky was held in a Nazi prison; in 1975, Andrei Sakharov was not allowed to leave the USSR; in 1983, Lech Wałesa feared he would be barred from reentering Poland if he went to Oslo; and in 1991, Aung Sang Suu Kyi was under house arrest in Burma. Each of the latter three
prize-winners was able to send a family member to Oslo. Only Ossietzky and Liu Xiaobo could
do not even that.
Of the Chinese People & Significance of the Nobel Peace Prize:
Chinese people have always shown special reverence for Nobel Prizes, in any field, and this fact has made Liu Xiaobo’s Peace Prize especially hard for the regime to swallow. Two people born in China have won the Nobel Peace Prize—Liu Xiaobo and the Dalai Lama. One is in prison and the other in permanent exile. When China’s rulers put on a mask of imperturbability as they denounce these Nobel prizes, they not only seek to deceive the world but, at a deeper level, are lying to themselves. When they try to counter Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel by inventing a Confucius Peace Prize, and then give it to Vladimir Putin citing his “iron fist” in Chechnya, there is a sense in which we should not blame them for the clownish effect, because it springs from an inner panic that they themselves cannot control. Liu Xiaobo sits in prison, in physical hardship. But in his moral core, there can be no doubt that he has more peace than the men who persecute him.
Of Tienanmen Massacre (64, 4th June 1989):
These thoughts came at the very time that the dramatic events of the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing and other Chinese cities were appearing on the world’s television screens. Commenting that intellectuals too often “just talk” and “do not do,” Liu decided in late April 1989 to board a plane from New York to Beijing. “I hope,” he wrote, “that I’m not the type of person who, standing at the doorway to hell, strikes a heroic pose and then starts frowning in indecision.” Back in Beijing, Liu went to Tiananmen Square, talked with the demonstrating students, and organized a hunger strike that began on June 2, 1989. Less than two days later, when tanks began rolling toward the Square and it was clear that people along the way were already dying, Liu negotiated with the attacking military to allow students a peaceful withdrawal. It is impossible to calculate how many lives he may have saved by this compromise, but
certainly some, and perhaps many. After the massacre, Liu took refuge in the foreign diplomatic quarter, but later came to blame himself severely for not remaining in the streets—as many “ordinary folk” did, trying to rescue victims of the massacre. Images of the “souls of the dead” have haunted him ever since. The opening line of Liu’s “Final Statement,” which he read at his criminal trial in December 2009, said, “June 1989 has been the major turning point in my life.” Liu Xia, who visited him in prison on October 10, 2010, two days after the announcement of his Nobel Prize, reports that he wept and said, “This is for those souls of the dead.”
The regime’s judgment of Liu’s involvement at Tiananmen was that he had been a “black hand” behind a “counterrevolutionary riot.” He was arrested on June 6, 1989, and sent for a bit more than eighteen months to Beijing’s elite Qincheng Prison, where he was kept in a private cell, but not severely mistreated. “Sometimes I was deathly bored,” he later wrote, “but that’s about it.” Upon release he was fired from his teaching job at Beijing Normal University.
Publications in Hong Kong & Overseas:
He resumed a writing career, but now wrote less on literature and culture and more on politics. He could not publish in China, but sent manuscripts to Hong Kong publications such as The Open Magazine and Cheng Ming Monthly, as well as U.S.- based magazines such as Beijing Spring and Democratic China. In May 1995 the government arrested him again, this time for seven months. No reason was specified for the arrest, but it came in the same month that he released a petition called “Learn from the Lesson Written in Blood and Push Democracy and Rule of Law Forward: An Appeal on the Sixth Anniversary of Tiananmen.”
Charter 08, which was conceived in conscious admiration of Czechoslovakia’s Charter 77 of the 1970s, and which became the main piece of evidence against Liu Xiaobo at his criminal trial, did not originate with Liu Xiaobo. A number of his friends had been working on a draft for several months in 2008 before he chose to join them. I do not know why he at first stood aside, but my surmise is that he felt the project was unlikely to get anywhere. When he did join, though, his efforts were crucial, and became increasingly so in the weeks and days immediately before the charter was announced. He insisted that the charter not be a “petition” to the government; it was a way for citizens to address fellow citizens about shared ideals. He persuaded his friends to remove certain confrontational phrases so that a wider range of people would feel comfortable endorsing the charter, and this judgment was vindicated when more than twelve thousand people eventually signed. He personally did more than anyone else to solicit signatures, but his most courageous move in the days before the unveiling of the charter was to agree to present himself as its leading sponsor. He was already known as the most prominent “dissident” inside China; taking primary responsibility for this text would only put him more in
the government’s spotlight and at greater risk for punishment.
He was not the only person punished for Charter 08. In the days right before and after it was unveiled, several others who had worked on drafting it saw their homes raided, or received from the police “invitations to tea” (i.e., interrogation) of the kind one is not at liberty to decline. Then came a nationwide campaign to suppress the charter itself. But even in this context, the eleven-year prison sentence that Liu received surprised many observers for its severity. Liu himself said of the ruling, which arrived on Christmas Day 2009, only that it “cannot bear moral scrutiny and will not pass the test of history.” In his “Final Statement” he thanked his captors for the civil treatment he had received during his detention and declared that “I have no enemies.”