Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Release LIU Xiaobo - 釋放劉曉波燭光晚會

There was a Candle Light Vigil outside the Legislative Council this evening (12 Jan 2010), to press for the release of LIU Xiaobo. There appeared to be several hundred people there. I thought there would be more. However, I felt encouraged that there were at least quite a number of people who felt strongly enough to come. It was cold, about 10 degrees Celsius. But it did not feel cold.

There were some familiar faces. There were also quite a few non-Chinese, who probably did not understand much of what was said, because most of the speakers spoke in Chinese. But they stayed. Evidently they understood enough and felt strongly enough about the quest for justice and democracy to stay and show their support. There were some people from mainland China.

Some people talked about the LIU Xiaobo that they know, some talked about his wife and how she stood by him, some read aloud his writings, some sang songs composed for him, ... The message was very clear: He should not be punished just for speaking out, asking for openness and democracy.

There were, as usual, a lot of police who stood watch. At least, they did not look too tense.


Anonymous said...
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bobby fletcher said...

Stephen, do you know Liu Xiaobo 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'd be in violation of Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). Pray tell, why would we lament Chinese money corrupting our political process, while sending many folds more to China, to corrupt their political process?

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

StephenC said...

LXB was sentenced heavily for speaking up. What he said was no more than what many many people have been saying. It is wrong to punish him. Attempting to smudge his name with insinuations in order to justify an unjust sentence is also wrong. Please don't do that.

Liu Yunxia said...

LXB is punished because he's trying to westernize China. This is not a western state, and by no means should be westernized. Western democracy does not fit well into Asian culture, as demonstrated by Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. Democracy will eventually come alive in China, but not now, and not by the means LXB dreamed of.

bobby fletcher said...

Stephen, if many people have been saying the same thing, why aren't they all in Jail?

It is not an insinuation, but a public fact that Liu Xiaobo is on the take from US government. publishes grant iinformation to the public.

Take a look at the verdict, the prosecution presented evidence Liu received foreign remittance. My reading of the verdict is the court saw Liu's political speech exceeded the limit of free speech, at least in part due to the foreign remittance.

In US our law (look up FARA) stats citizen's political asperation is not genuine if it's foreign sponsored.

StephenC said...

It is scary to know that some people think there is not enough people being put in jail already for speaking up.

Whether democracy is right for China can be debated. But putting people in jail (for 11 years!) simply for saying democracy is good - it is wrong.

StephenC said...

I would like to thank all my friends who give me encouragement (even if it is only in spirit). I would also like to encourage my friends to speak up as well.

What is happening in the world can be discouraging. But we should never give up. If we give up, we don't deserve to inhabit this earth.

Liu Yunxia said...

Dr. Chan, how about doing an experiment? Since you have a British passport, you go to Britain, and write up something saying we need to get rid of the queen and change the way parliament runs, also changing the name of United Kingdom of Great Britain to something like Republic of England and Scotland. Then get 10,000 people to sign on it. What do you think the British government will do to you? Leave you alone?

K said...

"When is Britain going to get rid of the monarchy?"

We can find it in Yahoo UK - a UK website.

K said...

Anyway, I think my previous "website" example is no good...
I think this is an argument related to"right or wrong" but not related to "what happen if".
So if a government sends people to jail simply for different point of view, this is wrong. No matter the government is US gov't, UK gov't or Chinese gov't. A wrong thing can not be right -- no matter how many people do it.

Liu Yunxia said...

Ha, K, glad you realized your example is no good.

Bobby Fletcher is right. Liu Xiaobo was accepting fund from overseas sources. Read the verdict, it states clearly on evidence item 1 and 2. Although the judge did not elaborate these evidence.

Liu Xiaobo was not the only one who wrote stuff. In the verdict, it clearly shows that a dozen people involved were interviewed. Why wasn't other people been put into jail too? No country will tolerate people who betrayed their own country, living on money from outside and writing stuff try to overthrow the government. Lucky for Liu Xiaobo, he did not do any real damage. If so, by Chinese law, he could received death penalty. He should make good use of his 11 years to reflect what he did to his home country.

StephenC said...

Many people in Scotland are saying Scotland should be independent from UK. Many people in Quebec want Quebec to be independent, or become part of France. These people are not put in jail unless they throw bombs. Some of them are actually in the parliament.

It is really scary to hear people wanting to imprison, and even kill other people just for saying things that they don't like. It is a sad comment on humanity.

It takes little courage to stand on the side of power. But it takes a lot of guts to stand up to stare in the face of persecution, and even depth. I salute those with guts.

Liu Yunxia said...

There are a lot of people buzzing around in China too. Look at and, people throw all kinds of words on there. Quite a few are critical about the government, but assuming a good faith and believe that the government will do better next time. Did they end up in jail? No. Because they are trying to help make our homeland a better place. It's not about politics, not about ideology, it's about the love and gratitude of our homeland.

People like Liu Xiaobo, who did nothing concrete to improve the lives of others around him, forgot about his homeland, accepted money from foreign sources to support himself, are traitors of our country.

Also, I have my doubt about majority democracy that the West has been boasting. Majority opinions do not necessarily mean optimal choice, and a lot of times they aren't. Here in the Triangle area in North Carolina for example, it makes sense to have a light rail system to connect Durham, RDU airport and Raleigh. Then restructure the bus system to cooperate with the rail. It'll save on fuel, cut down congestion, reduce road construction. Because of democracy here, 20 years since they've been talking about this project, it's still on paper. I really don't get the point of democracy in this case. When you have a bunch of people who doesn't know what they are talking about together vote on things, I would rather have someone who knows things to lead these people.

Like I said, I believe democracy will come to China in the future, when most people are educated, can make good decision through their own reasoning. Even then, Chinese democracy will not be like western democracy, because we have such vastly different background and culture. It's not about who's right or wrong, we are just different.

As for Liu Xiaobo, if he stays home writing something constructive, and lives on noble income of his writing, nobody will poke a finger at him. I didn't say I want to imprison him or kill him. But I will not tolerate traitors. China has suffered enough from them in the history. We will try not to make the same mistake here.

StephenC said...

I am glad we can agree to debate each other, even dislike each other, without having to put each other in prison, or to kill.

Liu Yunxia said...

Don't get me wrong, Dr. Chan. I do admire your work ethics and appreciate the volunteer work you've done. But when it comes to democracy, I really couldn't agree with you. I guess it's just our life experiences are different. You've seen democracy works in the west, I've seen authoritative system works in China, like it has been for 2000 years. History is continuous. Jump discontinuity usually comes with bloody event, which I'm sure you don't want to see. People like Kang Youwei, they try to rush this process, and they failed. They failed because they try to run against laws of history. In the case of Liu Xiaobo, not only his goal is slightly off, but also his method and expectation is too naïve and inappropriate. Adding the fact that he was receiving funding from foreign sources, I think 11 years is justifiable. He is paying for his behavior. But that does not make him a hero. Sun Yat-Sen is a hero because he tried, and tried hard. We admire his courage. Liu Xiaobo did not try in a positive and constructive way, that's the reason he's going to be swept into the dumpster of history and eventually be forgotten.

StephenC said...

Dear Yunxia: Don't worry, I used the word "dislike" in general, and certainly did not mean you.

I agree that democracy is best introduced gradually. I believe, however, that the pace can be faster.

Democracy does not solve all the problems. It is just better than dictatorship or tyranny.

Ultimately, it is only the love of God, and our love for each other, that can save humanity.

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