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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Senior Chinese dissident criticizes Liu Nobel

Mixed views about Liu's Nobel?

What the Press Herald
says about it:

...Liu played an important role as the crafters of the charter hashed out the wording, Link said. He fought to excise any mention of the banned sect Falun Gong from the document because, he argued, the charter's purpose should not be to deal with specific human rights cases.

And he helped work out a compromise over mentioning the Tiananmen Square crackdown -- which was raised in the preamble but not in the body of the charter.

Link, who spent much of that month talking with Liu and others as the manifesto went from one draft to another, recalled that Liu wasn't a leader of the group in the beginning.

"But once he saw it was going somewhere, he naturally volunteered to be out front," Link said...

And Wei Jinsheng comments on the situation:

Kaleej Times: WASHINGTON — A senior figure in China’s democracy movement said Friday that others deserved the Nobel Peace Prize more than Liu Xiaobo, calling him a moderate willing to work with Beijing.

The Nobel committee gave the prestigious prize to Liu, a writer and academic who was jailed in December 2009 after co-writing a manifesto for democratic reforms in China.

Wei Jingsheng, who spent nearly two decades in prison for his stinging calls for democracy in China, said Liu had often been allowed to operate freely and had criticized proponents for more sweeping changes.
“In my observation, the Nobel Peace Prize is going to Liu because he is different from the majority of people in opposition. He made more gestures of cooperation with the government and made more criticism of other resisters who suffered,” Wei told AFP in Washington, where he
lives in exile.
While China has denounced the Nobel committee, Wei said that Beijing’s criticism was comparatively low-key.
“That might be the main reason that the Norwegians were finally able to withstand the pressure,” Wei said.
Wei said that the Nobel would help Liu leave jail earlier and raise the profile of moderate reformists, in the process encouraging Chinese to work within the system.
“Unless the political system of the Chinese government is indeed heading for a peaceful evolution, political stability would serve to consolidate the one-party dictatorship and be negative to both reformists and revolutionaries,” he said.
Wei said there were “tens of thousands” of Chinese who would deserve the Nobel Peace Prize including Hu Jia, a jailed advocate for AIDS patients, Chen Guangcheng, who exposed corruption in the one-child policy, and missing human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

Wei himself has been tipped for the Nobel Peace Prize in the past.

A former electrician at the Beijing zoo, Wei rose to prominence after leader Mao Zedong died in 1976 and the government encouraged Chinese to put up posters airing grievances about past excesses.

Wei boldly put up a poster urging democracy and signed his name to it. He spent a total of 18 years in prison, partially on death row, until an appeal by then US president Bill Clinton allowed him to go into exile.

And FP and the NYT wrote earlier this week:

Fourteen Chinese dissidents and the Chinese Communist Party have finally agreed on something: Liu Xiaobo should not get the Nobel Peace Prize. While Chinese authorities have found his pro-democracy work worthy of 11 years of prison time and have made it clear to Norway that his victory would not be in its best interests, a group of overseas Chinese dissidents found Liu to be "unsuitable" for the award because they believed he has not adopted a strong enough line against the ruling Communist Party:

In a letter, the signatories accused Mr. Liu...of maligning fellow activists, abandoning persecuted members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and going soft on China's leaders.

"His open praise in the last 20 years for the Chinese Communist Party, which has never stopped trampling on human rights, has been extremely misleading and influential," they wrote.

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