Sunday, October 31, 2010

Joseph Nye: Don't fear the rise of China

"The fact that China is not likely to become a peer competitor to the United States on a global basis does not mean that the dangers of conflict in Asia can be completely ruled out. But given the global challenges such as financial stability, cybersecurity, and climate change that both China and the United States will face, they have much to gain from working together."

Don't fear the rise of China -

Canada, China seal panda deal

The deal was finalized on Friday during a meeting between Prentice, China's State Forestry Administrator Jia Zhibang -- who's responsible for panda negotiations -- and Canadian Ambassador David Mulroney, among other officials.
"I will pick out a couple of nice pandas for Canada," Jia told Prentice at the end of the meeting, according to the Calgary MP.

Charles Burton: We have been trying to get pandas since the Trudeau era. The pair of beavers that Trudeau took on his first visit to China as PM only got us a pair of some sort of Chinese elk in return if my memory serves. The last beaver died in the Beijing Zoo in 1991 when I was head of the Cultural Section at the Embassy
Charles Burton: p.s. After I sent in my obituary of the last beaver to Ottawa a number of people with cottages urged that we arrange for their beavers to be sent to Beijing as replacements!
Charles Burton: Their conditions at the Beijing Zoo were not good. I regarded them as a consular case

Saturday, October 30, 2010

NYT: China's Fast Rise Leads Neighbour to Join Forces

"HANOI, Vietnam - China's military expansion and assertive trade policies have set off jitters across Asia, prompting many of its neighbors to rekindle old alliances and cultivate new ones to better defend their interests against the rising superpower.
A whirl of deal-making and diplomacy, from Tokyo to New Delhi, is giving the United States an opportunity to reassert itself in a region where its eclipse by China has been viewed as inevitable.
President Obama's trip to the region this week, his most extensive as president, will take him to the area's big democracies, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, skirting authoritarian China. Those countries and other neighbors have taken steps, though with varying degrees of candor, to blunt China's assertiveness in the region."

NYT: China's Fast Rise Leads Neighb

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Minister Cannon Announces Policy to Limit Engagement with North Korea and Adoption of Special Economic Measures

"Canada urges North Korea to seek a path that will lead to lasting peace and decreased tensions on the Korean Peninsula and to major improvements in the lives of North Korean citizens, said Minister Cannon. Canada is a vigorous defender of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world."

Minister Cannon Announces Policy to Limit Engagement with North Korea and Adoption of Special Economic Measures

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Canada to announce tougher sanctions against N. Korea - CTV News

The Canadian Press
Date: Wednesday Oct. 27, 2010 1:21 PM ET
OTTAWA — Canada is poised to announce further sanctions against North Korea.
The Canadian Press has learned that Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon is planning to outline the new measures Thursday.
A government official said Cannon is also expected to downgrade Canada's already limited diplomatic relations with the rogue nuclear state.

Canada to announce tougher sanctions against N. Korea - CTV News

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Board of Rights and Democracy trying to save face

The board Tuesday concludes a two-day meeting at which the major point of business is study of a forensic audit commissioned last February by interim president Jacques Gauthier, who is also vice-chairman of the board. The audit, initially expected to take three weeks, was not submitted until August and has cost $253,000, Mr. Latulippe said. In a February news release, Mr. Gauthier said he had no “direct evidence of any individual impropriety” but felt that certain transactions and contracts “require the attention of forensic auditors.”

Read more:

NYT: Huawei Technologies Seeks Access to U.S. Telecoms Market

"Some in Congress and the national security establishment fear that Huawei's close ties to the Chinese military might allow China to tamper with American communications gear.
Last week, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and three other members of Congress wrote a letter to Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, raising the specter that an equipment sale might permit the Chinese government to manipulate parts of the communications network, making it possible to disrupt or intercept phone calls and Internet messages.
Anticipating these hurdles, Huawei has hired a remarkable array of Washington lobbyists, lawyers, consultants and public relations firms to help it win business in the United States. It has also helped create Amerilink Telecom, an American distributor of Huawei products whose high-powered board includes former Representative Richard A. Gephardt, the former World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn and the one-time chief executive of Nortel Networks, William A. Owens.
Amerilink executives say they are primarily interested in helping Huawei overcome objections that its entry into the American market could jeopardize national security."

15 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Call on World Leaders to Urge Chinese President Hu Jintao to Release Nobel Peace Prize Laurate Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia

15 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Call on World Leaders to Urge Chinese President Hu Jintao to Release Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia

"Freedom Now was retained by Liu Xiaobo's wife, Liu Xia, to represent Liu Xiaobo as his pro bono international legal counsel. The team of international legal counsel and human rights specialists includes Freedom Now, NYU Law Professor Jerome A. Cohen, Canadian Member of Parliament and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General Irwin Cotler, Former Canadian Member of Parliament and Secretary of State, Asia Pacific David Kilgour, and former Freedom Now client and Founder and President of Initiatives for China Dr. Yang Jianli."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Magnificent Chinese arch recently erected in Ottawa Chinatown

Pressing China, U.S. Lines Up Allies on Issues Like Currency -

"WASHINGTON: The Obama administration, facing a vexed relationship with China on exchange rates, trade and security issues, is stiffening its approach toward Beijing, seeking allies to confront a newly assertive power that officials now say has little intention of working with the United States.
In a shift from its assiduous one-on-one courtship of Beijing, the administration is trying to line up coalitions among China's next-door neighbors and far-flung trading partners to present Chinese leaders with a unified front on thorny issues like the currency and their country's territorial claims in the South China Sea."

Canada Will Be `Relentless' in Pressuring China on Yuan After G-20 Meeting - Bloomberg

Carney said Canada will do all it can to maintain pressure on China and other G-20 countries to implement the policies that nations agreed will help the global recovery, including the adoption of market-determined exchange rates.

“We all agree that we want to move to strong, sustainable, balanced growth,” Carney, 45, said, adding that implementing the framework will be a long process. “You can’t just have one meeting, and you force somebody to do something.”

“Implementation is the whole game here,” Carney said. The best strategy is “being relentless and making sure it continues to move forward.”

Canada Will Be `Relentless' in Pressuring China on Yuan After G-20 Meeting - Bloomberg

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gordon Chang Speaking at Brock University on October 28

Thursday October 28 at 3PM Gordon Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China (Random House 2001), speaking at Brock University in TH 325

North Korea expert to speak at Brock

Posted by sam on Oct 26th, 2010 and filed under Briefs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Gordon Chang

Gordon Chang

A respected political writer and expert in nuclear proliferation and North Korea will speak at Brock this week.

Gordon Chang, author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World, will speak at TH 325 on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. Chang’s book focuses on nuclear proliferation in general and the North Korean crisis in particular. He is also the author of The Coming Collapse of China.

Chang is a columnist at His writings on China and North Korea have appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, among others. He has given briefings at the National Intelligence Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the State Department and the Pentagon, as well as numerous industry and investor groups.

His appearance is part of the Department of Political Science Speaker Series. Everyone is welcome.

Canada raises Nobel dissident Liu's case with China

" Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon raised the case of jailed Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo with his Chinese counterpart during talks in Beijing today, his office said."

My Op-Ed in the Toronto Star: The Dalai Lama’s elusive dream

"China even attempts to debase the greatness of Tibetan tradition to folkloric elements of happy dancing and singing in accented Mandarin by ersatz nomadic Tibetan herdsmen, who celebrate the mountain grassland scenery. The deep spirituality that is the most important characteristic of the magnificent Tibetan civilization is nowhere to be found. Instead, China invests in Tibet's material development in the vain hope that young Tibetans will abandon their backward” culture and language, and seek modernity through identification with China's Han-led rise to power.
But it appears this policy is having the opposite effect. As Tibetans become more prosperous, their yearning for affirmation of their Tibetan identity only becomes stronger. Beijing, meanwhile, responds with violence to all expressions of Tibetan nationalism, and desecrates by burning all "llegal" Tibetan flags and portraits of the Dalai Lama that the Chinese police and military can set their hands on. So the mutual anger continues to mount."

The Dalai Lama’s elusive dream -

This was also published in the Montreal Gazette under the title "China seeks to silence the Dalai Lama's moderate voice" on October 22:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Co-broadcasting by Radio Canada International and Beijing Radio for 40th Anniversary of Relations

I was featured in two interviews as described below The web page for my interviews can be see at:
They also posted some other photos taken here at Brock at:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Li Zhao <>
Date: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 1:33 PM
Subject: Co-broadcasting by Radio Canada International and Beijing Radio

Hello, The first co-broadcasting by Radio Canada International and Beijing Radio were aired on October 13 & 14. Please find attached the link for the show. You can see the video of the two days broadcasting on the page. The page has 100,000 clicks per day. Beijing Radio broadcasted the special programs on 3 frequence: AM 828, FM 100.6 (News Channel) and AM 774 (Radio 774). The audience is around 3 millions.
Li Zhao
The Chinese Section
Radio Canada International

BBC News - US inquiry into China rare earth shipments

@markmackinnon: US launching inquiry into report China blocking shipments of rare earth metals

China tries to dodge Darfur bullets report: envoys

@markmackinnon: China tried to suppress UN report showing Chinese-made bullets were used to attack Darfur peacekeepers: (via @NiuB)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Full text of Communique of the Fifth Plenum of the 17th CPC Central Committee

BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Following is Xinhua's translation of the full text of the Communique of the Fifth Plenum of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which was passed on Oct. 18.  Printable version available at:

Communique of the Fifth Plenum of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

(October 18, 2010)

The Fifth Plenum of the 17th CPC Central Committee was held in Beijing from October 15 to 18, 2010.

Present at the plenum were 202 members and 163 alternate members of the CPC Central Committee. Members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and leading officials of relevant departments attended the meeting as non-voting delegates. Some delegates to the 17th CPC National Congress, including a few from the grass roots and a few experts and scholars, also attended the meeting as non-voting delegates.

The plenum was presided over by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivered an important speech at the plenum.

The plenum listened to and discussed the working report delivered by Hu Jintao, who was entrusted by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and adopted the "CPC Central Committee's Proposal for Formulating the 12th Five-Year Program for China's Economic and Social Development (2011-2015)". Wen Jiabao made an explanatory speech on the draft proposal to the plenum.

The plenum fully recognized the work of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee since the Fourth Plenum of the 17th CPC Central Committee. The plenum unanimously agreed that the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, faced with the fallout of the international financial crisis and sweeping changes in international and domestic landscapes, has thoroughly implemented the guidelines of the 17th CPC National Congress and the First, Second, Third and Fourth plenums of the 17th CPC Central Committee, held high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and followed the guidance of the Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of the "Three Represents," and comprehensively implemented the Scientific Outlook on Development. The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee has united and led the whole Party, military and Chinese people of all ethnic groups to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, effectively implement the stimulus package to counter repercussions of the international financial crisis, improve macro-regulation in a targeted manner, consolidate achievements in fighting the international financial crisis, accelerate the transformation of the economic growth mode, maintain stable and relatively rapid economic development. The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee has united and led the whole Party, military and Chinese people of all ethnic groups to make efforts to ensure and improve people's livelihoods, effectively cope with severe natural disasters such as the Yushu earthquake in Qinghai province and the Zhouqu mudslide in Gansu province, successfully accomplish the campaign of learning in-depth the Scientific Outlook on Development by all Party members and successfully host the Shanghai World Expo. The plenum agreed that remarkable progress had been made in various works and programs of the Party and the nation.

The plenum held that the 12th Five-Year Plan period is a crucial stage for building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and a time of difficult issues for deepening the reform and opening-up process while accelerating the transformation of the nation's economic development pattern. Properly setting the 12th Five-Year Plan on the basis of an in-depth and accurate grasp of the changes and characteristics of domestic and international situations is of great significance to further seizing and effectively utilizing our country's important period of strategic opportunities, promoting steady and relatively rapid long-term economic development, winning new victories in building a moderately prosperous society and pushing forward the great cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The plenum spoke highly of our country's great achievements in economic and social development during the 11th Five-Year Plan period, holding that the CPC had unified and led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, firmly focused on development, the top priority of the Party in governing and rejuvenating the country, carried out the Party's theories and guidelines, principles and policies, implemented proper and forceful macroeconomic regulation, given full play to the political advantages of China's socialist system, brought into full play the fundamental role of market in allocating resources, thus bringing fresh and historic changes to the nation. After striving for five years, our country has achieved fast development of social productivity, drastic enhancement of overall national strength, remarkable improvement of living standards, and a marked rise in international status and influence, and also made major progress in the socialist economic, political, cultural, social and conservation culture development, as well as Party building, thus having composed a new epic recounting the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The achievements of the five years are hard won, the experience accumulated is precious and the spiritual fortune created will last long.

The plenum made an in-depth analysis of the domestic and international environment for China's economic and social development during the coming period, and put stress on the fact resulting from a comprehensive assessment of international and domestic situations that China is still in an important period of strategic opportunities during which there is a great deal China can achieve, and it is faced with both precious historic opportunities and plenty of foreseeable and unforeseeable risks and challenges. We should strengthen the awareness of opportunities and potential risks, properly master the law of development, actively adjust to the changes of environment, effectively solve various problems, and strive to push forward our country's reform and opening-up process and socialist modernization drive.

The plenum pointed out that the formulating of the 12th Five-Year Plan must hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development, adjust to the new changes of domestic and international situations, comply with the people's new expectations of living better lives, take scientific development as the theme, employ the expedited transformation of the economic development pattern as the main line, deepen the reform and the opening-up process, safeguard and improve the people's livelihoods, consolidate and expand the fruits reaped from coping with the international financial crisis, and promote steady and relatively fast long-term economic development and social harmony and stability, so as to lay a decisive foundation for building a moderately prosperous society.

The plenum stressed that in contemporary China, the adherence to development as a task of overriding importance means sticking to scientific development, laying more stress on the "people first" principle, paying more attention to comprehensive, sustainable development and overall planning and coordination, and putting more emphasis on securing and improving people's livelihood to promote social equality and justice. Acceleration of the transformation of the economic development pattern marks a profound reform in both economic and social sectors and must proceed throughout every realm and all the course of economic and social development. Economic strategic restructuring should be a major task of the transformation of economic development mode. The promotion of scientific and technological progress and innovation should be taken as an important support to the transformation, while ensuring and improving people's livelihood should be the very aim and fundamental end of the move. The building of a resource-saving and environment-friendly society should be a focal point in the transformation of the economic development mode. It is imperative to take reform and opening-up as a powerful driving force for speeding up the transformation, and score more comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable growth to seek sound and fast economic and social development.

After comprehensive considerations of future development trends and conditions, the plenum proposed the following as the major targets for economic and social development in the next five years: to maintain stable and relatively fast economic growth; to achieve major development in economic restructuring; to universally raise people's incomes at a relatively fast pace; to remarkably enhance social construction; to continuously deepen reform and opening-up; to achieve substantial progress in transforming the economic development pattern; to remarkably strengthen the country's comprehensive national power, international competitiveness and capability in shielding against risks; to make notable progress in meeting people's living and cultural demands; and to further consolidate the foundation for the making of a better-off society in an all-round way.

Participants at the plenum stressed adherence to the policy of boosting domestic demand, maintaining stable and relatively fast economic development, and strengthening and improving macro-control measures. The plenum called for the establishment of a long-term mechanism to expand consumption, the optimization of investment structures, and quickened pace of the building of a new growth pattern that is jointly driven by consumption, investment and exports. Efforts should be made to push forward rural modernization, accelerate the construction of new socialist rural area, maintain coordinated development in rural and urban regions, promote the development of modern agriculture, improve public services and infrastructure construction in rural areas, and seek new ways to increase farmers' incomes. The rural development system will also be improved to build contented homes for farmers. The plenum underscored the establishment of a modern industrial system and enhancement of the core competitiveness of industries by transforming and upgrading the manufacturing sector, developing strategic emerging industries, and accelerating the growth of the service sector. It is stressed that the construction of the modern energy industry and the building of a comprehensive transport system should be boosted, while raising the level of informatization and encouraging the marine economy. Balanced development between regions should be maintained and urbanization should be pushed forward in a positive and sound manner. The master strategy of regional development and the strategy of main functional regions will be implemented, and the urbanization pattern will be improved with enhanced urban management. Poverty alleviation work that targets old revolutionary base areas, ethnic regions, border areas and poverty-stricken areas will be strengthened. Great importance should be attached to building a regional development pattern that enables regions to make their advantages complementary with main functions clearly defined, enables more efficient spatial use of the land, and achieves a harmonious relation between humans and nature. It is urged that the building of a resource-saving and environment-friendly society should be accelerated, and the ecological conservation culture should be promoted. More work should be done to proactively combat global climate change, increase environment protection, develop the recycling economy, improve resource conservation and management, speed up the construction of the ecological protection system and that of disaster prevention and reduction, and enhance the ability of maintaining sustainable development. The plenum urged further enforcement of the strategy of rejuvenating the nation through science and education and through the cultivation of talented personnel to build an innovative country. The plenum called for upgrading China's scientific innovation ability, improving the innovation system and accelerating educational reform and development, which encourages talent and lays a solid foundation in terms of science and technology and human resources for the transformation of economic development pattern and achieving the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way.

The plenum called for ensuring and improving people's livelihoods by gradually perfecting the fundamental public service system that should be working in line with China's overall situation, relatively comprehensive, covering urban and rural areas, and sustainable; by enhancing the government's capacity for safeguarding people's livelihoods; and by promoting equal fundamental public services. Efforts should also be made to reinforce social construction and establish and improve a fundamental public service system, to promote employment and harmonious labor relations, to reasonably adjust income distribution, to increase the ratio of people's incomes to the national income and the ratio of workers' incomes in the primary distribution of national income, to perfect the social security system that covers urban and rural residents, to accelerate the reform and development of the healthcare sector, to do a good job in population management, to enhance and innovate in social management, to properly handle contradictions among the people, and to take concrete measures to secure social harmony and stability.

The plenum pointed out that culture is the spirit and soul of a nation, and is the power to propel development of a country and the revitalization of a nation. Efforts should be made to help the culture sector prosper, to boost the country's soft power in cultural fields, to consistently advance the development of the socialist culture, and to improve the Chinese people's civil education. The plenum also called for efforts to promote cultural innovation, to deepen the reform of the cultural system, and to boost cultural undertakings and the cultural industry. Efforts should also be made to satisfy the people's ever-growing demand for cultural products, to basically build up a public service system of culture, to make the culture industry one of the pillar industries for the national economy, to give full play to the role of culture in guiding, educating people and promoting development, to build a spiritual home for the Chinese nation, and to boost cohesion and creativity of the nation.

The plenum emphasized that reform is a powerful driving force for accelerating the transformation of the economic development mode, and reform in every realm must be pushed forward in an all-round way with greater resolve and courage. Great impetus should be given to economic system reform, while vigorous yet steady efforts should be made to promote political restructuring. Work should be done to accelerate reform in cultural and social systems to make sure the superstructure adapts to development and changes in economy and to provide a strong guarantee for scientific development. The fundamental economic system should be stuck to and improved; administrative system reform should be promoted; reforms of fiscal and taxation systems should be accelerated; financial system reform should be deepened; reform in resource products pricing and market should be advanced; and reform in social program system should be quickened. A mutually-beneficial strategy of opening-up should be pursued and more efforts should be made to further open up to the outside world, optimize the foreign trade structure, improve the quality of foreign investment utilization and accelerate the pace in implementing the "going global" strategy. It is necessary to actively participate in global economic governance and regional cooperation, to push forward development, deepen reform and promote innovation by opening up, and to vigorously create new advantages for participating in global economic cooperation and competition.

The plenum stressed that the leadership by the Party is the fundamental guarantee for achieving the goals of economic and social development during the 12th Five-Year Plan period. Work in improving the CPC's ruling capacity and maintaining the Party's advanced nature must be strengthened to promote the Party's competence in leading the country's economic and social development. Party committees at all levels should accurately understand the trends of development, scientifically make development blueprint, diligently innovate in the pattern of development, promote the overall and balanced planning and coordination of development, and effectively boost the quality of development. All Party members should unswervingly practise the theory of the Party, follow the line of the Party and implement the Party's principles and policies, and firmly cherish the idea of scientific development. Concrete efforts should be made to intensify the building of the Party at grassroots organizations, to deepen the campaign of contending for excellence, and to lead the general public to boost the sound and fast development of the economy and society. Officials at all levels must adhere to the fundamental tenet of serving the people with heart and soul, follow the Party's mass line, always keep a flesh-and-blood relationship with the people, foster a proper view of political achievements, and work hard to make real achievements that can stand the tests of practice, the people and history. It is necessary to intensify efforts to combat corruption and promote clean government, and to energetically carry forward the glorious traditions and exemplary work styles of the Party so as to create a good Party conduct, which will help unite the Party members and win the support of the people to form a great force for advancing the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The plenum asserted that the organic unity of adherence to leadership by the Party, ensuring that the people are masters of the country and governing the country according to law must be upheld, while developing socialist democracy, accelerating the building of a socialist country under the rule of law, and consolidating and expanding the ever increasingly inclusive patriotic united front. The building of a modern national defense system and modern armed forces must be strengthened with the abilities to conduct diverse military missions with a focus on the ability to win regional wars under information-based conditions. To maintain long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and Macao, the principles of "one country, two systems," "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong," "Macao People governing Macao," a high degree of autonomy and administration of the two regions in strict adherence to basic laws of the special administrative regions must be unswervingly implemented. In advancing the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and the cause of national reunification, the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations must be firmly pursued, cross-Strait economic cooperation deepened, and cross-Strait exchanges among all circles of life expanded. Hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, adhere to peaceful foreign policy of independence, pursue peaceful development, actively participate in international cooperation, safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and accelerate the building of a harmonious world that enjoys long-lasting peace and common prosperity together with other countries in the world.

The plenum comprehensively analyzed the current situation and tasks and stressed that through the joint efforts of the whole Party and the people, the national economy continues to move in the right direction expected from the macroeconomic control, new achievements have been made in all kinds of undertakings, and overall social stability has been maintained. The whole Party should improve awarenesses of the Party, the tenets and governance, and the overall situation and responsibility, grasp opportunities and avoid losing them, concentrate on construction and whole-heartedly seek development, promote a sense of principle, systemization, foresight and creativity in the work, promote the spirit of real practice and solid work, attach the greatest importance to the responsibilities entrusted by the Party and the people, closely rely on the broad masses of the people to conquer all obstacles and difficulties on the way forward with the ever-stronger unity of the Party and the people, deal with work in reform, development and stability well with steady effort to strive to realize this year's goals of economic and social development.

The plenum stressed that the country was hit by a wave of serious natural disasters from the beginning of this year, which have caused grave damage to the lives of people in the disaster-hit areas. With joint efforts of various departments and localities,remarkable progress has been made in the relief and rescue processes. At present, the country still faces arduous tasks of helping the resettlement of affected residents and rebuilding the disaster-hit areas. Relevant departments of the central government and all levels of the CPC units and government offices in the disaster-hit areas should pay high attention to these tasks. They should scientifically plan, increase input in, meticulously organize, and seriously carry out recovery efforts. They should tend to the affected people' s basic living needs, speed up drafting and implementation of reconstruction plans, help bring the local economy, especially agricultural production, back on track, help the affected people rebuild homes, and facilitate social and economic development. During the reconstruction, they must continuously combine improvements with reductions in damage, balance disaster prevention and reduction efforts, tackle problems at root and at surface, and join government and social efforts. Programs to address the weaknesses of water resources projects should be started as soon as possible. Efforts should also be sped up to establish risk assessment systems, monitoring networks, and disaster prevention and emergency response systems in disaster-prone areas, in a bid to strengthen the country' s comprehensive ability to head off and deal with natural disasters.

The plenum agreed that the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) be augmented to include Xi Jinping as a vice-chairman.

The plenum also decided, in line with the Party's constitution, to appoint Yan Rongzhu, an alternate member of the CPC Central Committee, to fill a vacancy and become a member of the CPC Central Committee.

The plenum examined and approved a report of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on the issue of Kang Rixin. It decided to expel Kang from the CPC Central Committee, and also endorsed a decision, made by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Dec. 29, 2009, to strip Kang of his CPC membership.

The plenum called on all CPC members and peoples of all ethnic groups to closely unite around the Party's Central Committee, led by Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, to earnestly learn and implement the spirit of the plenum, emancipate their minds, seek truth from facts, keep pace with the times, blaze new trails in a pioneering spirit, and unite as one to strive to achieve the goals of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) on national economic and social development.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Liu Xiaobo's spouse says Ding Zilin and Jiang Peikun have vanished

RT @liuxia64 Ding Zilin and Jiang Peikun, two teachers (from the Tiananmen Mothers movement), have also disappeared. Please pay attention.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Full Text of Letter From Party Elders Calling For Free Speech

This is from  The translation is by @cmphku

On October 11, 23 Chinese Communist Party elders known for their pro-reform positions, including Mao Zedong’s former secretary Li Rui (李锐) and former People’s Daily editor-in-chief Hu Jiwei (胡绩伟), submitted an open letter to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress[1], formally China’s highest state body, calling for an end to restrictions on expression in China.

The letter urges the Communist Party to abolish censorship and realize citizens’ right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Seizing on the opportunity afforded by the awarding of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) with the Nobel Peace Prize last week, the letter refers explicitly to prior statements on reform and free speech made by both President Hu Jintao (胡锦涛) and Premier Wen Jiabao (温家宝). [CORRECTION: It is premature to conclude that this letter has any connection whatsoever to Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Prize. The letter is dated October 1, one week before the announcement from the Nobel Committee.]

Enforce Article 35 of China’s Constitution, Abolish Censorship and Realize Citizens’ Right to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press: A Letter to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

Written by Li Rui (李锐), Hu Jiwei (胡绩伟) and others
Dated: October 11, 2010

Dear members of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress:

Article 35 of China’s Constitution[2] as adopted in 1982 clearly states that: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.” For 28 years this article has stood unrealized, having been negated by detailed rules and regulations for “implementation.” This false democracy of formal avowal and concrete denial has become a scandalous mark on the history of world democracy.

On February 26, 2003, at a meeting of democratic consultation between the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and democratic parties ['s_Republic_of_China], not long after President Hu Jintao (胡锦涛) assumed office, he stated clearly: “The removal of restrictions on the press, and the opening up of public opinion positions, is a mainstream view and demand held by society; it is natural, and should be resolved through the legislative process. If the Communist Party does not reform itself, if it does not transform, it will lose its vitality and move toward natural and inevitable extinction.”

On October 3, America’s Cable News Network (CNN) aired an interview with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao[3] (温家宝) by anchor Fareed Zakaria. Responding to the journalist’s questions, Wen Jiabao said: “Freedom of speech is indispensable for any nation; China’s Constitution endows the people with freedom of speech; The demands of the people for democracy cannot be resisted.”

In accord with China’s Constitution, and in the spirit of the remarks made by President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, we hereupon represent the following concerning the materialization of the constitutional rights to freedom of speech and of the press:

Concerning the Current State of Freedom of Speech and Press in Our Country

We have for 61 years “served as master” in the name of the citizens of the People’s Republic of China. But the freedom of speech and of the press we now enjoy is inferior even to that of Hong Kong before its return to Chinese sovereignty, to that entrusted to the residents of a colony.

Before the handover, Hong Kong was a British colony, governed by those appointed by the Queen’s government. But the freedom of speech and freedom of the press given to residents of Hong Kong by the British authorities there was not empty, appearing only on paper. It was enacted and realized.

When our country was founded in 1949, our people cried that they had been liberated, that they were not their own masters. Mao Zedong said that, “From this moment, the people of China have stood.” But even today, 61 years after the founding of our nation, after 30 years of opening and reform, we have not yet attained freedom of speech and freedom of the press to the degree enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong under colonial rule. Even now, many books discussion political and current affairs must be published in Hong Kong. This is not something that dates from the [territory's] return, but is merely an old tactic familiar under colonial rule. The “master” status of the people of China’s mainland is so inferior. For our nation to advertise itself as having “socialist democracy” with Chinese characteristics is such an embarrassment.

Not only the average citizen, but even the most senior leaders of the Communist Party have no freedom of speech or press. Recently, Li Rui met with the following circumstance. Not long ago, the Collected Works in in Memory of Zhou Xiaozhou were published, and in it was originally to be included an essay commemorating Zhou Xiaozhou that Li Rui had written for the People’s Daily in 1981. Zhou Xiaozhou’s wife phoned Li Rui to explain the situation: “Beijing has sent out a notice. Li Rui’s writings cannot be published.” What incredible folly it is that an old piece of writing from a Party newspaper cannot be included in a volume of collected works! Li Rui said: “What kind of country is this?! I want to cry it out: the press must be free! Such strangling of the people’s freedom of expression is entirely illegal!”

It’s not even just high-level leaders — even the Premier of our country does not have freedom of speech or of the press! On August 21, 2010, Premier Wen Jiabao gave a speech in Shenzhen called, “Only By Pushing Ahead With Reforms Can Our Nation Have Bright Prospects.” He said, “We must not only to push economic reforms, but must also to promote political reforms. Without the protection afforded by political reforms, the gains we have made from economic reforms will be lost, and our goal of modernization cannot be realized.” Xinhua News Agency’s official news release on August 21, “Building a Beautiful Future for the Special Economic Zone,” omitted the content in Wen Jiabao’s speech dealing with political reform.

On September 22, 2010, (U.S. local time) Premier Wen Jiabao held a dialogue in New York with American Chinese media and media from Hong Kong and Macao, and again he emphasized the importance of “political system reforms.” Wen said: “Concerning political reforms, I have said previously that if economic reforms are without the protection to be gained by political reforms, then we cannot be entirely successful, and even perhaps the gains of our progress so far will be lost.” Shortly after, Wen Jiabao addressed the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, giving a speech called, “Recognizing a True China,” in which he spoke again about political reform. Late on September 23 (Beijing time), these events were reported on China Central Television’s Xinwen Lianbo and in an official news release from Xinhua News Agency. They reported only Wen Jiabao’s remarks on the circumstances facing overseas Chinese, and on the importance of overseas Chinese media. His mentions of political reform were all removed.

For these matters, if we endeavor to find those responsible, we are utterly incapable of putting our finger on a specific person. This is an invisible black hands. For their own reasons, they violate our constitution, often ordering by telephone that the works of such and such a person cannot be published, or that such and such an event cannot be reported in the media. The officials who make the call do not leave their names, and the secrecy of the agents is protected, but you must heed their phone instructions. These invisible black hands are our Central Propaganda Department. Right now the Central Propaganda Department is placed above the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and above the State Council. We would ask, what right does the Central Propaganda Department have to muzzle the speech of the Premier? What right does it have to rob the people of our nation of their right to know what the Premier has said?

Our core demand is that the system of censorship be dismantled in favor of a system of legal responsibility (追惩制).

The rights to freedom of speech and the press guaranteed in Article 35 of our Constitution are turned into mere adornments for the walls by means of concrete implementation rules such as the “Ordinance on Publishing Control” (出版管理条例). These implementation rules are, broadly speaking, a system of censorship and approvals. There are countless numbers of commandments and taboos restricting freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The creation of a press law and the abolishment of the censorship system has already become an urgent task before us.

We recommend that the National People’s Congress work immediately toward the creation of a Press Law, and that the “Ordinance on Publishing Control” and all of the local restrictions on news and publishing be annulled. Institutionally speaking, the realization of freedom of speech and freedom of the press as guaranteed in the Constitution means making media independent of the Party and government organs that presently control them, thereby transforming “Party mouthpieces” into “public instruments.” Therefore, the foundation of the creation of a Press Law must be the enacting of a system of [post facto] legal responsibility (追惩制) [determined according to fair laws]. We cannot again strengthen the censorship system in the name of “strengthening the leadership of the Party.” The so-called censorship system is the system by which prior to publication one must receive the approval of Party organs, allowing for publication only after approval and designating all unapproved published materials as illegal. The so-called system of legal responsibility means that published materials need not pass through approval by Party or government organs, but may be published as soon as the editor-in-chief deems fit. If there are unfavorable outcomes or disputes following publication, the government would be able to intervene and determine according to the law whether there are cases of wrongdoing. In countries around the world, the development of rule of law in news and publishing has followed this path, making a transition from systems of censorship to systems of legal responsibility. There is little doubt that systems of legal responsibility mark progress over systems of censorship, and this is greatly in the favor of the development of the humanities and natural sciences, and in promoting social harmony and historical progress. England did away with censorship in 1695. France abolished its censorship system in 1881, and the publication of newspapers and periodicals thereafter required only a simple declaration, which was signed by the representatives of the publication and mailed to the office of the procurator of the republic. Our present system of censorship leaves news and book publishing in our country 315 years behind England and 129 years behind France.

Our specific demands are as follows:

1. Abolish sponsoring institutions of [Chinese] media [NOTE: This is the controlling organization that exercises Party control over the media], allowing publishing institutions to independently operate; Truly implement a system in which directors and editors in chief are responsible for their publication units.

2. Respect journalists, and make them strong (尊重记者,树立记者). Journalists should be the “uncrowned kings.” The reporting of mass incidents and exposing of official corruption are noble missions on behalf of the people, and this work should be protected and supported. Immediately put a stop to the unconstitutional behavior of various local governments and police in arresting journalists. Look into the circumstances behind the case of [writer] Xie Chaoping (谢朝平). Liang Fengmin (梁凤民), the party secretary of Weinan city [involved in the Xie Chaoping case] must face party discipline as a warning to others.

3. Abolish restrictions on extra-territorial supervision by public opinion [watchdog journalism] by media, ensuring the right of journalists to carry out reporting freely throughout the country.

4. The internet is an important discussion platform for information in our society and the voice of citizens’ views. Aside from information that truly concerns our national secrets and speech that violates a citizen’s right to privacy, internet regulatory bodies must not arbitrarily delete online posts and online comments. Online spies must be abolished, the “Fifty-cent Party” must be abolished, and restrictions on “tunneling/[anti-censorship]” technologies must be abolished.

5. There are no more taboos concerning our Party’s history. Chinese citizens have a right to know the errors of the ruling party.

6. Southern Weekly and Yanhuang Chunqiu should be permitted to restructure as privately operated pilot programs [in independent media]. The privatization of newspapers and periodicals is the [natural] direction of political reforms. History teaches us: when rulers and deliberators are highly unified, when the government and the media are both surnamed “Party,” and when [the Party] sings for its own pleasure, it is difficult to connect with the will of the people and attain true leadership. From the time of the Great Leap Forward to the time of the Cultural Revolution, newspapers, magazines, television and radio in the mainland have never truly reflected the will of the people. Party and government leaders have been insensible to dissenting voices, so they have had difficulty in recognizing and correcting wholesale errors. For a ruling party and government to use the tax monies of the people to run media that sing their own praises, this is something not permitted in democratic nations.

7. Permit the free circulation within the mainland of books and periodicals from the already returned territories of Hong Kong and Macao. Our country has joined the World Trade Organization, and economically we have already integrated with the world — attempting to remain closed culturally goes against the course already plotted for opening and reform. Hong Kong and Macao offer advanced culture right at our nation’s door, and the books and periodicals of Hong Kong and Macao are welcomed and trusted by the people.

8. Transform the functions of various propaganda organs, so that they are transformed from [agencies] setting down so many “taboos” to [agencies] protecting the accuracy, timeliness and unimpeded flow [of information]; from [agencies] that assist corrupt officials in suppressing and controlling stories that reveal the truth to [agencies] that support the media in monitoring Party and government organs; from [agencies] that close publications, fire editors and arrest journalists to [agencies] that oppose power and protect media and journalists. Our propaganda organs have a horrid reputation within the Party and in society. They must work for good in order to regain their reputations. At the appropriate time, we can consider renaming these propaganda organs to suit global trends.

We pressingly represent ourselves, hoping for your utmost attention.

October 1, 2010

Sponsors (23 people):

Li Rui (李锐)– former standing vice minister of the Organization Department of the CCP Central Committee, member of the 12th Central Committee of the CCP
Hu Jiwei (胡绩伟) — former director of People’s Daily, standing committee member to the 7th National People’s Congress, director of the Federation of Chinese Communication Institutes.
Jiang Ping 江 平– former head of the China University of Political Science and Law, tenured professor, standing committee member to the 7th National People’s Congress, deputy director of the Executive Law Committee of the NPC
Li Pu (李普) — former deputy director of Xinhua News Agency
Zhou Shaoming (周绍明) — former deputy director of the Political Department of the Guangzhou Military Area Command
Zhong Peizhang (锺沛璋) — Former head of the News Office of the Central Propaganda Department
Wang Yongcheng (王永成) — Professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University
Zhang Zhongpei (张忠培) — Research at the Imperial Palace Museum, chairman of the China Archaeological Society
Du Guang (杜光) — former professor at the Central Party School
Guo Daojun (郭道晖) — former editor-in-chief of China Legal Science
Xiao Mo 萧 默 — former head of the Architecture Research Center of the Chinese National Academy of Arts
Zhuang Puming (庄浦明) — former deputy director of People’s Press
Hu Fuchen (胡甫臣) — former director and editor-in-chief at China Worker’s Publishing House
Zhang Ding (张定) — former director of the China Social Sciences Press at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Yu You (于友) — former editor-in-chief of China Daily
Ouyang Jin (欧阳劲) — former editor-in-chief of Hong Kong’s Pacific Magazine (太平洋杂志)
Yu Haocheng (于浩成) — former director of Masses Publishing House
Zhang Qing (张清) — former director of China Cinema Publishing House
Yu Yueting (俞月亭) — former director of Fujian Television, veteran journalist
Sha Yexin (沙叶新) — former head of the Shanghai People’s Art and Drama Academy, now an independent writer of the Hui ethnic minority
Sun Xupei (孙旭培) — former director of the News Research Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Xin Ziling (辛子陵) — former director of the editorial desk at China National Defense University
Tie Liu (铁流) — editor-in-chief of Wangshi Weihen (往事微痕) magazine (Scars of the Past).
Legal Counsel:
Song Yue (宋岳) — Chinese citizen, practicing lawyer in the State of New York, U.S.


李锐 胡绩伟 等 10月11日,2010
二、尊重记者,树立记者 “无冕之王”的社会地位。记者报道群体性事件,揭发官员贪污腐败,是为民请命的神圣事业,应受到保护和支持。立即制止某些地方政府和公安机关随意抓捕记者的违宪行为。追究谢朝平案的幕后操纵者,渭南市委书记梁凤民必须下台,以申党纪,以儆效尤。

李 锐(前中央组织部常务副部长,中共十二届中央委员,十二、十三届中顾委委员。)
江 平(原政法大学校长、终身教授,七届人大常委、人大法律委员会副主任)
李 普(原新华社副社长)
杜 光(原中共中央党校教授)
郭道晖 (原《中国法学》杂志社总编辑)
萧 默(原中国艺术研究院建筑艺术研究所所长)
胡甫臣 (原中国工人出版社社长兼总编辑)
张 定(原中国社会科学院社会科学出版社社长)
于 友(原《中国日报》社总编辑)
欧阳劲 (香港《太平洋杂志》总编辑)
于浩成 (原群众出版社社长)
张 清(原中国电影出版社社长)
俞月亭 (原福建电视台台长、高级记者)
沙叶新 (前上海人民艺术剧院院长,现为回族独立作家)
铁 流(民刊《往事微痕》总编辑)
宋 岳(中国籍公民,美国纽约州执业律师)

Bad News from Globe and Mail Reporter in Beijing

RT @markmackinnon At dinner for 40 yrs of Canada-China relations. Lots of happy trade talk, none of suspension of ties in 1989, Cdn citizenship for Dalai Lama

Uerkesh in The Guardian on Implications for West of Liu Nobel

"The time has come for the world to begin to engage China intelligently – something it has not done in the past 21 years I have been in exile. It is time to abandon the delusional notion that economic prosperity will lead to political reform – it hasn't and it won't. It is also time to abandon the specious argument that China's "special conditions" justify authoritarian one-party rule. Yes, China is a big country but that does not automatically strip its people of rights we hold to be fundamental elsewhere."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why won't China argue the case for locking up Liu Xiaobo? – Telegraph Blogs

"China is predictably angry about Liu Xiaobo, the author of the Charter 08 petition, winning the Nobel Peace Prize and, for the sake of balance, I've been asking myself if they might not have a point."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stephen Taylor: Michael Ignatieff silent on Nobel Prize Committee’s “Megaphone Diplomacy” with China

"Michael Ignatieff released a statement congratulating Barack Obama on his 2009 Nobel Peace Prizethe day it was announced that the US president had won it. However, it's Monday, and Ignatieff has yet to weigh in on the Nobel Committee's bold statement that may promote positive change and more freedom in China."

Saturday, October 09, 2010


挪威诺贝尔委员会(Norwegian Nobel Committee)决定将诺贝尔和平奖授予正在狱中服刑的中国异见人士刘晓波,由此实现了向该奖项最佳传统的回归。
在诺贝尔和平奖历史上一些最伟大的时刻,它曾为那些在压制性政府或不公正社会秩序的巨大压力下奋力抗争的个人投以同情,并为他们唤取支持。其中卡尔 •冯•奥西埃茨基(Carl von Ossietzky)、安德烈•萨哈罗夫(Andrei Sakharov)、莱赫•瓦文萨(Lech Walesa)和昂山素季(Aung San Suu Kyi)属于前者,而马丁•路德•金(Martin Luther King)则属于后者。
刘晓波理应与他们为伍。数十年来他一直以和平的方式抗争,为中国人争取想自己所愿、言自己所思以及批评统治国家的政党机构的基本权利。他参与了 1989年的天安门广场示威,当时许多示威者在政府的镇压中遇害。他也是《零八宪章》的发起签名人之一。《零八宪章》效仿捷克斯洛伐克的《七七宪章》,是 一份要求更多公民权利的宣言。
接 下来会发生什么,将取决于眼下正尴尬不已的共产党统治者。他们对刘晓波的严厉打压加大了、而非减小了他获奖的可能性。与其他威权政体一样,北京方面曾向挪 威政府施压,要求不要向刘颁奖,这暴露了中国强盛外表下的不安全感。如果现在中国怒斥外界,甚至惩罚其他异见人士,那么它强烈渴望的受尊敬的国际形象将会 受到严重损害。

Friday, October 08, 2010

Harper says China should 'look seriously' at releasing Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo - Winnipeg Free Press

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The Nobel Peace Prize 2010 - Press Release

The Nobel Peace Prize 2010 - Press Release
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 to Liu Xiaobo for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace. Such rights are a prerequisite for the "fraternity between nations" of which Alfred Nobel wrote in his will.
Over the past decades, China has achieved economic advances to which history can hardly show any equal. The country now has the world's second largest economy; hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty.  Scope for political participation has also broadened.
China's new status must entail increased responsibility. China is in breach of several international agreements to which it is a signatory, as well as of its own provisions concerning political rights. Article 35 of China's constitution lays down that "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration". In practice, these freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China's citizens.
For over two decades, Liu Xiaobo has been a strong spokesman for the application of fundamental human rights also in China.  He took part in the Tiananmen protests in 1989; he was a leading author behind Charter 08, the manifesto of such rights in China which was published on the 60th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 10th of December 2008. The following year, Liu was sentenced to eleven years in prison and two years' deprivation of political rights for “inciting subversion of state power". Liu has consistently maintained that the sentence violates both China's own constitution and fundamental human rights.
The campaign to establish universal human rights also in China is being waged by many Chinese, both in China itself and abroad. Through the severe punishment meted out to him, Liu has become the foremost symbol of this wide-ranging struggle for human rights in China.
Oslo, October 8, 2010

Liu Xiaobo's Statement at His Trial Last Year

Liu Xiaobo: "I have no enemies: my final statement"

Here's a statement from Liu Xiaobo dated Dec. 23, 2009; translation courtesy of Prof. David Kelly of the China Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney. English text below; Chinese text here. It may not be an original observation, but I think it's worth noting that in China, at any rate, the values and beliefs for which people are willing to jeopardize their careers or go peacefully to jail are not, as those people express them, hedged about with qualifying adjectives such as "socialist" or "with Chinese characteristics". It is not, in general, the prisoners who talk about the need to respect Chinese cultural values; it is their jailers (who also claim the right to define them). The prisoners almost invariably speak in the language of universal values. Contrary to what is sometimes said by their critics, this does not mean that they claim that certain values are in fact held universally. Very obviously they are not. It means simply that they believe such values should be realized universally, and this is what inspires them. 

I have no enemies: my final statement

June 1989 was the major turning point in my 50 years on life's road.  Before that, I was a member of the first group of students after restoration of the college entrance examination after the Cultural Revolution (1977); my career was a smooth ride, from undergraduate to grad student and through to PhD. After graduation I stayed on as a lecturer at Beijing Normal University. On the podium, I was a popular teacher, well received by students. I was also a public intellectual: in the 1980s I published articles and books that created an impact. I was frequently invited to speak in different places, and invited to go abroad to Europe and the US as a visiting scholar. What I required of myself was: to live with honesty, responsibility and dignity both as a person and in my writing.. Subsequently, because I had returned from the US to take part in the 1989 movement, I was imprisoned for "counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement to crime", losing the platform I loved; I was never again allowed publish or speak in public in China. Simply for expressing divergent political views and taking part in a peaceful and democratic movement, a teacher lost his podium, a writer lost the right to publish, and a public intellectual lost the chance to speak publicly. This was a sad thing, both for myself as an individual, and, after three decades of reform and opening, for China.

Thinking about it, my most dramatic experiences after June Fourth have all been linked with the courts; the two opportunities I had to speak in public have been provided by trials held in the People's Intermediate Court in Beijing, one in January 1991 and one now. Although the charges on each occasion were different, they were in essence the same, both being crimes of expression.

Twenty years on, the innocent souls of June Fourth are yet to rest in peace, and I, who had been drawn into the path of dissidence by the passions of June Fourth, after leaving the Qincheng Prison in 1991 lost the right to speak openly in my own country, and could only do so through overseas media, and hence was monitored for many years; placed under surveillance (May 1995 – January 1996); educated through labour (October 1996 – October 1999s), and now once again am thrust into the dock by enemies in the regime. But I still want to tell the regime that deprives me of my freedom, I stand by the belief I expressed twenty years ago in my "June Second hunger strike declaration"— I have no enemies, and no hatred. None of the police who monitored, arrested and interrogated me, the prosecutors who prosecuted me, or the judges who sentence me, are my enemies. While I'm unable to accept your surveillance, arrest, prosecution or sentencing, I respect your professions and personalities. This includes Zhang Rongge and Pan Xueqing who act for the prosecution at present: I was aware of your respect and sincerity in your interrogation of me on 3 December.

For hatred is corrosive of a person's wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation's spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society's tolerance and humanity, and block a nation's progress to freedom and democracy. I hope therefore to be able to transcend my personal vicissitudes in understanding the development of the state and changes in society, to counter the hostility of the regime with the best of intentions, and defuse hate with love.

As we all know, reform and opening brought about development of the state and change in society. In my view, it began with abandoning "taking class struggle as the key link," which had been the ruling principle of the Mao era. We committed ourselves instead to economic development and social harmony. The process of abandoning the "philosophy of struggle" was one of gradually diluting the mentality of enmity, eliminating the psychology of hatred, and pressing out the "wolf's milk" in which our humanity had been steeped. It was this process that provided a relaxed environment for reform and opening at home and abroad, for the restoration of mutual love between people, and soft humane soil for the peaceful coexistence of different values and different interests. It provided the explosion of popular creativity and the rehabilitation of warm heartedness with incentives consistent with human nature. Externally abandoning "anti-imperialism and anti-revisionism", and internally abandoning "class struggle" may be called the basic premise of the continuance of China's reform and opening to this day. The market orientation of the economy; the cultural trend toward diversity; and the gradual change of order to the rule of law, all benefited from the dilution of this mentality. Even in the political field, where progress is slowest, dilution of the mentality of enmity also made political power ever more tolerant of diversity in society, the intensity persecution of dissidents has declined substantially, and characterization of the 1989 movement has changed from an "instigated rebellion" to a "political upheaval."

The dilution of the mentality of enmity made the political powers gradually accept the universality of human rights. In 1998, the Chinese government promised the world it would sign the two international human rights conventions of the UN, marking China's recognition of universal human rights standards; in 2004, the National People's Congress for the first time inscribed into the constitution that "the state respects and safeguards human rights", signalling that human rights had become one of the fundamental principles of the rule of law. In the meantime, the present regime also proposed "putting people first" and "creating a harmonious society", which signalled progress in the Party's concept of rule.

This macro-level progress was discernible as well in my own experiences since being arrested.

While I insist on my innocence, and hold the accusations against me to be unconstitutional, in the year and more since I lost my freedom, I've experienced two places of detention, four pre-trial police officers, three prosecutors and two judges. In their handling of the case, there has been no lack of respect, no time overruns and no forced confessions. Their calm and rational attitude has over and again demonstrated goodwill. I was transferred on 23 June from the residential surveillance to Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau Detention Center No. 1, known as "Beikan." I saw progress in surveillance in the six months I spent there.

I spent time in the old Beikan (Banbuqiao) in 1996, and compared with the Beikan of a decade ago, there has been great improvement in the hardware of facilities and software of management.

In particular, Beikan's innovative humane management applies more flexible management of what the discipliners say and do, on the basis of respecting the rights and dignity of detainees. This management, embodied in the journals Warm Broadcast and Repentance, music played before meals and when waking up and going to sleep, gave detainees feelings of dignity and warmth, stimulating their consciousness of keeping order in their cells and countering the warders' sense of themselves as lords of the jail. It not only provides detainees with a humanized living environment, but greatly improves the environment and mindset for their litigation. I had close contact with Liu Zhen, in charge of my cell. People feel warmed by his respect and care for detainees, reflected in the management of every detail, and permeating his every word and deed. Getting to know the sincere, honest, responsible, good-hearted Liu, really was a piece of good luck for me in Beikan.

Political beliefs are based on such convictions and personal experiences; I firmly believe that China's political progress will never stop, and I'm full of optimistic expectations of freedom coming to China in the future, because no force can block the human desire for freedom. China will eventually become a country of the rule of law in which human rights are supreme. I'm also looking forward to such progress being reflected in the trial of this case, and look forward to the full court's just verdict ——one that can stand the test of history.

Ask me what has been my most fortunate experience of the past two decades, and I'd say it was gaining the selfless love of my wife, Liu Xia. She cannot be present in the courtroom today, but I still want to tell you, my sweetheart, that I'm confident that your love for me will be as always. Over the years, in my non-free life, our love has contained bitterness imposed by the external environment, but is boundless in afterthought. I am sentenced to a visible prison while you are waiting in an invisible one. Your love is sunlight that transcends prison walls and bars, stroking every inch of my skin, warming my every cell, letting me maintain my inner calm, magnanimous and bright, so that every minute in prison is full of meaning. But my love for you is full of guilt and regret, sometimes heavy enough hobble my steps. I am a hard stone in the wilderness, putting up with the pummeling of raging storms, and too cold for anyone to dare touch. But my love is hard, sharp, and can penetrate any obstacles. Even if I am crushed into powder, I will embrace you with the ashes.

Given your love, my sweetheart, I would face my forthcoming trial calmly, with no regrets about my choice and looking forward to tomorrow optimistically. I look forward to my country being a land of free expression, where all citizens' speeches are treated the same; where, different values, ideas, beliefs, political views... both compete with each other and coexist peacefully; where, majority and minority opinions will be given equal guarantees, in particular, political views different from those in power will be fully respected and protected; where, all political views will be spread in the sunlight for the people to choose; all citizens will be able to express their political views without fear, and will never be politically persecuted for voicing dissent; I hope to be the last victim of China's endless literary inquisition, and that after this no one else will ever be jailed for their speech.

Freedom of expression is the basis of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth. To block freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, to strangle humanity and to suppress the truth.

I do not feel guilty for following my constitutional right to freedom of expression, for fulfilling my social responsibility as a Chinese citizen. Even if accused of it, I would have no complaints. Thank you!

Liu Xiaobo (December 23, 2009)

February 7, 2010 in Commentary, News - Chinese Law, People and Institutions | Permalink


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