All one can say is shame on China. And shame on countries of conscience who consistently go soft on China’s miserable record on human rights. On Friday, December 10th, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in Oslo, Norway to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. His chair sat empty, as shown above. He is serving an eleven-year sentence in a Chinese prison for writing, yes, writing about democratic reforms. He has never advocated violence. He has always urged people toward peaceful, non-violent social change. But any notion of human rights in China is too threatening. His wife, long under house arrest in China, has not been seen for weeks and China even successfully lobbied several countries not to send representatives to the Nobel ceremony.
So. All the American-led applause at China’s Olympics a few years ago, at which American companies made a huge profit, was one more empty promise by the Chinese. They block websites like Amnesty International and limit even what a website like Google can do.
It’s time for people of conscience to demand that their governments stop soft-pedaling China’s miserable treatment of its own citizens. It’s time for China to grow up if it wants to be a leader in world affairs, as it says it does.
For the first time in nearly 50 years, there was no representative of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate at the ceremony. All because the country that imprisons him under laughable charges will not be meaningfully challenged by other countries. Yes, China imprisons Liu Xiaobo. But we all contribute to his imprisonment when we stay silent.