In this image taken from June 3, 2008, video footage by AP Video, Liu Xiaobo speaks during an interview before his detention in Beijing, China.The judicial bureau in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang says jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has died of multiple organ failure Thursday, July 13, 2017, at age 61. (AP Video via AP)
Liu Xiaobo, who died Thursday of liver cancer, was a prolific writer of essays, literary criticism and poetry, whose political activism was the basis of four prison terms in China and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. A selection of Liu’s writings and comments from the Nobel Committee and Chinese authorities.
“I HAVE NO ENEMIES: MY FINAL STATEMENT,” read in Liu’s absence at his Nobel award ceremony:
“I look forward to (the day) when my country is a land with freedom of expression, where the speech of every citizen will be treated equally well; where different values, ideas, beliefs, and political views … can both compete with each other and peacefully coexist; where both majority and minority views will be equally guaranteed, and where the political views that differ from those currently in power, in particular, will be fully respected and protected; where all political views will spread out under the sun for people to choose from, where every citizen can state political views without fear, and where no one can under any circumstances suffer political persecution for voicing divergent political views. I hope that I will be the last victim of China’s endless literary inquisitions and that from now on no one will be incriminated because of speech.”
“CHANGING POLITICAL POWER THROUGH CHANGING SOCIETY,” his 2006 essay, which reportedly was presented as evidence at his criminal trial:
“In summation, China’s road to a free society must primarily rely on gradual bottom-up improvements, it being very difficult to plead for a top down … revolution. Bottom-up reform requires a civic consciousness, requires a spontaneous, continuous and expanding movement of civil disobedience and the upholding of civil rights. Which is to say, the popular power to pursue freedom and democracy, rather than pursuing the rebuilding of the entire society through radical regime change, instead comes in forcing the regime to change through gradual social change, to rely on the constantly maturing civil society to transform an illegitimate regime.”
NOBEL COMMITTEE statement on awarding the 2010 Peace Prize:
“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…
“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 …
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.”
CHINA’S responses to the Nobel Prize being awarded to Liu:
“Liu Xiaobo is a convicted criminal who broke Chinese law. If the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to such a person, it absolutely disobeyed the spirit of this prize and it is a blasphemy to the prize,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said.
The awarding of the prize to Liu is a “highly politicized event. What image do they want to leave for the ordinary Chinese people? The choice is out there and it will be their own judgment to make their choice. If they make a wrong choice, they have to bear the consequences,” then-Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said.
Giving the peace prize to Liu was a “rude interference in China’s judicial sovereignty,” an unidentified spokesman for the Beijing Municipal Higher People’s Court was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.