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The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo and what it means to the Chinese

The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize has just been awarded to Liu Xiabo, and according to the Nobel committee, the key reason was “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China”. Of course, the Western media is using this occasion to lambaste the Chinese government. They are parroting the anti-China positions from all the die-hard “human rights” activists throughout the West. (See here, here, and here.) They also compare Liu Xiaobo’s case to that of Carl von Ossietzky who won the same prize in 1935 for opposing Hitler. This has gone too far, and it’s about time the Chinese perspective be heard.

Really, it is amazing there is an urge within the West to compare China to that of Hitler Germany. Needless to say, I am not going to waste any breath arguing how stupid that is.

Liu was sentenced in 2009 to 11 years in prison for inciting subversion of state power. He is the co-author of “Charter 08” and was deeply involved in the failed Tiananmen Square demonstrations of 1989. “Charter 08” was discussed heavily on this blog two years ago when the English translation was first published by an American professor, Perry Link, on the New York Review of Books. This document is important, because the content reflects what Liu Xiaobo stands for (his attitude, his understanding or lack of of democracy, and his charge against the Chinese Communist Party).

First of all, I encourage you to read the document before reading this post further. What’s wrong with it? First of all, it’s a very amateurish document without any depth of understanding of Western thinking behind democracy and human rights (and never-mind the Chinese view). No intellectuals in China are really going to put their names behind it, never-mind the 2000 signatures it got. I’ll quote Allen‘s comments from a prior debate over “Charter 08”:

When I read it, I got a distinct feeling of vacuousness, of non-conviction, of someone groping with a shallow intellectual understanding of Western political philosophy …

I am a musician … and take music pretty seriously. Recently, one of my friend introduced me to this nifty software that can arrange beats, chord progressions, even melodies when given the bare minimum of “seed” parameters. The resulting mix is usually not that bad … but definitely not very good. It’s usable in some clubs, perhaps as background music – but not as “real music” in real concert halls…

Anyways – this piece sounds just like such a mix. A computer program, given some Western ideological dictionary, could probably come up with something similar. I personally would treat this document more like a comic strip of political fodder than say the Magna Carta, the American Bill of Rights, Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, the Communist Manifesto, or the Federalist Paper!

The tone of the document is also wrong. Here is why according to this comment:

“It has stripped people of their rights, destroyed their dignity, and corrupted normal human intercourse.”

I’m all for opening China up further, but the tone of this article is ridiculous. While I agree rights of the people in China is more theory than in execution, it’s not as if the Chinese people had a lot of rights before the Communists took power.

And I don’t care for “legislative democracy.” That sounds like a surefire way to failure. Western China development would fall, Chinese politicians would start supporting short term shortsighted plans just to ensure votes, etc.

The amount of changes in this “declaration” is ridiculous. I would support direct elections all the way up to city mayor, but past that, China is still too early in a developmental stage with an unwieldy population crisis to have complete direct elections.

What type of people actually signed this, do any China bloggers know? Like are they supporters of full democracy now, people who wish to completely overthrow the CCP from power etc. To me, it seems as if only the “rights activist” type frequently featured in the western media would support something like this.

Also, two thousand people in China isn’t really a lot. And so far, none of the people mentioned are names which I recognize and/or respect for writing serious, well thought essays on democratizing China, not the demagogues and panderers to the western media that are usually featured.

From the postscript I see that most well known and respected signatories were only questioned, not detained. The only people detained seemed to be people who were already on the verge of being contained. This is already such a huge improvement that I’m sure most people who’ve been following China long term would agree with me that allowing China to progress along its current path and speed would be most beneficial in the long run. No one wants to see another disaster like the one that happened in Russia because of a lack of patience, especially since China’s progressing so nicely.

Obviously, the Chinese do not view “freedom”, “human rights”, and “democracy” in a fundamentalist way as the activists do in the West. (See, “William Hooper: “The Scientific Development Concept”“.) There are in fact a lot of problems with democracy. See our featured post by Allen, “Understanding Democracy.” These various rights are nevertheless something the Chinese want more of. As Deng Xiaoping’s translator, Zhang Weiwei said, there is a order of development. See “Reflecting on Western Democratization.”

Criticism in Chinese are abound too. Here is an example:

It contains language about federalism, I feel duped. A prescription from Chinese who doesn’t understand China? Wouldn’t this kill common people and end China’s future?

Honestly, I don’t believe Liu Xiaobo would get into much trouble for co-authoring “Charter 08” per se. I don’t know for certain why Liu Xiaobo was convicted for subversion of state power, but given the fact that he received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (i.e. ex-CIA), he is either stupid or he is anti-Chinese government (or both in the eyes of the Chinese). Here is what Charles Liu found:

Here is in Chinese on Liu Xiaobo’s connection to the NED:

劉曉波與美國民主基金會 (Liu Xioabo and the NED)

It appears there are more than “incidental connection” between the author of ’08 Charter’, Liu Xiaobo, and guess who – the NED:

Liu Xiaobo, President of Chinese dissident group ICPC:

ICPC received $135,000 from the NED in 2007:

$135,000 from the NED in 2006:

$85,000 from the NED in 2004:

Now, I’m pretty sure it is a violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Aact for someone US resident to take Chinese government’s money, then advocate/incite the overthrow of the US government and abolition of existing US constitution.

And ICPC is not the only source of my tax dollar for Liu Xiaobo. He also gets money from Uncle Sam for minzhu zhongguo (Democratic China):

– $145,000 in 2007:

– $136,000 in 2005:

– $135,000 in 2004:

Pray tell, why would we lament Chinese money corrupting our political process, while sending many folds more to China, to corrupt their political process? Advocating overthrowing of the Chinese government? Abolition of China’s constitution?
And why can’t FM get this kind of money? Second thought better not, FARA can land you up to 25 years in jail.

For more examples of Chinese thinking on this topic, here is a translation by Charles Liu:

Regarding 08 Charter
by Shao Han

1. The government detained an author of “08 Charter”, Liu Xiaobo, on suspicion of subverting the state’s authority, summoned another key person, Zhang Zhuhua. I feel this is illegal, because it is every citizen’s fundamental right to voice opinion on issues of national importance. Neither the authors nor the singers conspired to overthrow the authority, only to urge the authority to reform. Subversion is in no way implicated.

2. Therefore, I call on the authority to speedily release of Mr. Liu Xiaobo, return confiscated properties, and take this opportunity to open dialogue, allow people to consult on the affairs of our nation.

3. “08 Charter” is a historical document with a grand view on China’s political future. It is rational, peaceful, constructive, and important to the future of Chinese government. I would like to offer my highest praise to the authors and signers.

4. I agree with 08 Charter’s constitutional and democratic theory fully, however under current states, its feasibility is zero.

5. Regardless if the signers of “08 Charter” see this as a political movement, its acceptance as a political movement by the society should be considered.

6. It’s reasonable to see, people under [the CCP’s] rule, including myself, would agree with O8 Charter’s ideals and implements in protecting human rights.

7. However the Charter’s most important mandate is to solve problems on a decisive, meaningful level. That is, how to make the CCP accept its views.

8. It’s obvsious the Charter did not consider this – in another word it absolutely did not consider if the authority could accept advice like this.

9. From a historical view, China’s current political transformation is the final push of 1911 Revolution. From Republic of China to communist rule they are unfinished business, or change of course, from the 1911 Revolution. And now we want to change the course back to where it should be headed.

10. The 1911 Revolution has two founding fathers. One is Sun Yatsen, the other is Yuan Shikai. People have always downplayed Yuan’s role as a founding father of the Republic of China. This is an objective bias based on morality, not an accepted political discussion. Had there not been cooperation and negotiation between Sun and Yuan bringing about success, where would have Republic of China been? Southern Revolution Party’s coffer only had a few dollars, could it have beaten the court troops? Even if it the Revolution Party amassed a large war chest and wins the battle, how many would have died? So, regardless of how one feels, we should thank both Sun and Yuan for their contribution in building a foundation for peaceful constitutional rule. Yuan Shikai wanted to be the emperor and died trying, was after the fact. At least in 1911, he was one of the founding fathers.

11. China’s political future should be peacefully complete constitutional reform, and the CCP must be a central force, even the most important force. Therefore, the CCP can not be treated as an enemy – in name or in practice. The Charter as is, if implemented, will make the CCP an enemy of all Chinese citizens (although the Charter did not intend for this). Would the CCP agree to the demand to reform by transforming itself into an enemy of the state?

12. Authoritarian rule’s foundation is it needs enemy, at all times. Right now the Charter’s advice served the purpose of creating an enemy. They see this as not diminishing their authority, but temporarily strengthened their authority – but in the long run of course it diminishes their authority.

13. China’s future constitutional rule must be without an enemy – benevolent politics without enemy. Politics should be part of public life, inwardly govern to benefit all citizens, outwardly govern to obtain national interest.

14. This document’s biggest flaw is it neglected to consider what would completion of constitutional rule look like under current system and framework. There’s no free lunch; right now the CCP controls the government, why would they give up the benefit and move towards public governance under the constraint of constitutional rule? By what rationale?

15. Perhaps these three: 1) If continues, CCP rule will destabilize, create chaos, people will die, sovereignty will weaken; the CCP lives and dies with the people. 2) Only by bringing an end to this mode of governance will China, and the CCP, be saves. 3) The process to bring this to an end requires some fundamental promise to the CCP and its leadership.

16. Two reasons led to the abdication of Qing Court: one is after the 1911 revolution, Yuan Shikai coerced the Qing Court, second is the republican government granted preferential legislative treatment for the monarchy – the price for peacefully bring about constitutional rule.

17. After nearly a hundred years, Chinese people’s political acumen should be better than during end of Qing dynasty, not worse. But this 08 Charter’s political competency is lower than Sun Yuan period.

18. China’s political future, if to choose the path of peaceful transformation, principles based on adversarial relationship need to be abandoned. The CCP should be seen as an ally in reform – even as a leader in reform.

19. In the lat 60 years the CCP, intentionally or unintentionally, brought the Chinese people countless catastrophes, and today it still holds onto power. If peaceful reform does not provide a formulation with certain amount of forgiveness but demand they end their own lives, is tantamount to the dream of a simpleton.

20. For the CCP to become an ally, even a leader, in peaceful constitutional reform, there needs to be some “stained founding fathers” – perhaps they have received large ill-gotten gains, but as long as they agree to promote peaceful constitutional reform, besides returning some portions of their family fortune to the national coffer, everything else is forgiven. And they and their clan’s safety are protected, allowing them to become innocent citizens equal under the law. If they are national leaders, after their terms end the book will be closed. Above policy is aimed towards the CCP leadership.

21. Without the above policy of forgiveness, the CCP and the people will fight to mutual defeat, with end result we can not predict – no matter what, those scenarios will invariably lead to violence and bloodshed. Do we really need and end no one can predict, thru means no one wishes for?

22. To tred the water with stability, first we must test the water. How to test the water? Have the CCP formulate “transitional constitutional rule legislation”, not limited to these provisions: 1) the CCP continues to govern, with term limits; 2) implement separation of powers with oversight; 3) allow freedom of association, to form political party. With the exception of compete in elections, all legal activity are allowed; 4) protect existing provisions in the Constitution; 5) include and protect additional civil rights; 6) nationalize the military, remove party influence; 7) confirm amnesty and forgiveness for CCP’s past 60 years, ensure this will not be reversed by other political parties in the future; Extend, by conference, the transitional governance period, if multiple party elections are not mature. These policies should be established constitutionally.

23. These are just my simple thoughts. Society at large should be consulted on policy; at least problems should be publically, peacefully, rationally discussed.

The 2009 award to U.S. President Obama was just bizarre. We get it – it was an anti-Bush award. Okay, fast forward to 2010, it’s an anti-China award. Nobel Peace Prize committee may have garnered some brownie points with the so called “human rights” and “democracy” activists in the West (and the Western media), but in my view, alienating 1.3 billion people on this planet is not that good an idea.

I am just shocked that the Nobel Peace Prize committee would stand behind this rather lame “Charter 08.” As Allen said, this was not a Chinese Magna Carta. If it was, the Peace Prize could perhaps have a chance of riding some Chinese history. The Nobel Peace Prize committee took another gamble. I wager that it will loose this one in the course of history.


Norwegian jurist calls Nobel Peace Prize wrong, illegal
Updated: 2010-10-13 10:37

Norwegian jurist and writer Fredrik S. Heffermehl called it a wrong decision and illegal to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, according to the website of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

In a comment on the website on Oct 8, the jurist said the Nobel Peace Prize was to support those organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to defend peace, promote disarmament and abolish national military forces.

The only criterion to award the prize is “peace” and “disarmament,” added Heffermehl, who took the committee to the Administrative Court in Stockholm under the charge of “breaching Nobel’s wishes and illegally awarding the peace prize” two years ago.

On Oct 10, Heffermehl further criticized that the selection of the peace prize winner by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has violated Nobel’s intended purpose, in a posting published on the website of The World Association of International Studies (WAIS), founded in 1965 at Stanford University.

Nobel established the prize for “the champions of peace” to support their efforts at disarmament and peace movement.

“With all due respect to Liu Xiaobo, this is yet another example that this is no longer Nobel’s prize, it is the peace prize of the Norwegian Storting (the supreme legislature in Norway).”

The best the committee could do for human rights, democracy, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection would be to wholeheartedly defend the work that the Nobel would support, for deep change in international relations and abolition of national military forces.

Heffermehl also said the Nobel committee has not received prize money for free use, but was entrusted with money to give to pivotal elements in creating peace, breaking the vicious circle of arms races and military power games.

From this point of view the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize is again an illegitimate prize awarded by an illegitimate committee.

In his book The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted, Fredrik Heffermehl finds the Norwegian Nobel Committee has come under increasing political, geopolitical, and commercial pressures to make inappropriate awards.

  1. October 8th, 2010 at 16:40 | #1

    Top 10 Reader comments at the New York Time

    date:October 8th, 2010
    time:7:46 am

    As a Chinese living abroad, I have high respect for the Nobel Prize committee’s decision this time:, especially at a moment when most countries are in desperate need of cash, and when the Chinese government has become so skillful in using the deep pocket it accumulated by extorting its own people to influence other countries’ decisions.

    I am amazed to have witnessed, over the past few years, how successful the Chinese government has become in using a weird combination of nationalism and high living cost to make its people lose interests in politics; and how shining stories of the new riches and ridiculously high housing cost for the rest have made most Chinese so “pragmatic” that the majority nowadays have either forgot what happened on Tian’anmen Square or rationalized the Chinese government’s actions. It is also of my utmost disgust to see how the anti-government forces outside the country turned themselves into lost souls, squabbling about each faction’s “authority” or “righteousness”, without doing anything meaningful; and worse still, turned from anti-government to anti-China, thus further alienating themselves from the Chinese people.

    At a time: when I don’t see any hope for China’s moral future, a Nobel Peace Prize is the best possible boost, for people who are “naive” enough to still believe in freedom and decency, and that sincerity and integrity still hold their authorities in our judgement.
    Recommended by 316 Readers

    Sridhar Chilimuri
    location:New York
    date:October 8th, 2010
    time:5:30 am

    Finally they got it right. He deserves it. The Nobel peace prize has restored its moral stature.
    Recommended by 232 Readers

    location:Bryn Mawr, PA
    date:October 8th, 2010
    time:5:24 am

    Given China’s increasing propensity to throw its weight around and act like a bully, this is a courageous decision. Well done Norway!
    Recommended by 191 Readers

    T E Low
    location:Kuala Lumpur
    date:October 8th, 2010
    time:7:35 am

    Well, at least this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is less of a joke than last year’s Nobel Peace Prize…

    However, I must question the motives behind the committee’s awarding of this year’s Peace Prize. Are they awarding the Prize objectively; i.e. has there been any tangible result from Mr. Liu Xiaobo’s activities that actually contributed to world peace? Or are they (the Nobel Committee) just trying to send a message to the Chinese government and China?

    Frankly, I think the Chinese government should be awarded the Peace Prize. Their ability to pull their country out of poverty without engaging in any wars (*cough* US warmongering *cough*) has been a great contribution to world peace in itself….
    Recommended by 178 Readers

    neel economist
    location:new delhi
    date:October 8th, 2010
    time:5:31 am

    Kudos to Nobel committee to stick to their guns, unfazed by Chinese pressure.
    it was really funny to see superpower trying to use its socalled superpower to block a peace prize for one of its citizen.
    Recommended by 177 Readers

    location:Western Europe
    date:October 8th, 2010
    time:8:09 am

    Frankly this is as bad as Obama’s Nobel last year. The peace prize has become a complete sham. Mr. Liu’s Charter 08 was aimed at reforming the Chinese political system. While thats laudable and deserves merit and acclaim it is does nothing to improve the world. Once again the Peace Prize was used to advance petty symbolism and finger wagging. It is up there with Arafat’s and Obama’s Pointless Prize. Nothing was actually accomplished. Mr. Liu is going to continue to languish in prison. The award will only further anger the Chinese government, who’ll feel snubbed, which is what the Nobel Committee obviously set out to do. Other peacemaker have been passed over. No joint Nobel’s for the people who helped unify Europe, such as Germany’s Helmut Kohl or many of the European leaders from that era. 20 years after the end of the Cold War it might have been nice to see that recognized. Instead many elder statesmen are going to be passed over, while the Nobel Committee continues to act as a Top of the Pops barometer. What a disgrace!
    Recommended by 164 Readers

    Hong Zhou
    date:October 8th, 2010
    time:8:16 am

    Actually, I don’t see how this political award will in anyway enhance “peace” in the name of which the award is given.

    It is shameful that someone is locked up for what his political beliefs and activist activities, for sure. But using the case to sharpen a political, or even a cultural confrontation with a “superpower” is more about satisfying one’s political ego than promoting peace, which should be a notion that transcends politics, ideology, and culture.

    It is delusional to think that the Nobel Prize committee is wrestling against an evil “government”, on behalf of the people of China. Liu Xiaopo actually does not have wide support inside China, and he is often viewed amongst the Chinese intelligensia as shallow and light-weight. (even though, as I said, that in no way warrants locking him up). So by using the award as some sort of political weapon, the Nobel Prize committee is setting itself up against, not for, a large segment of humanity, who does not necessarily care for the parochial institutions that the West proselytizes to other cultures, earlier with the help of gunboats, now in the form of ideologies and Nobel Prizes.

    The “fight” that the Nobel Prize committee and its supporters perceive doesn’t actually exist. The real change is already underway with a rapidly ascending China that is both richer and more culturally confident. Social political transformations in the world occur in directions no one can anticipate, and they depend on factors that are much more basic and fundamental than ideological loudspeakers.

    The Nobel Prize committee will be disappointed about the effect of their decision. In fact, they will probably be soon forgotten, passing into the oblivion of history.
    Recommended by 162 Readers

    date:October 8th, 2010
    time:8:29 am

    Ridiculous decision. More ridiculous than giving a Nobel prize to Obama.
    Liu Xiaobo did not do any real things in China except touting “democracy”. However, the fact is that China’s GDP, GDP per capita, and happiness index are much better than most of the so-called “democratic” countries including Iraq and Afghanistan.
    The current political system works well in China because it fits the Chinese culture. Very few Chinese like Liu Xiaobo’s idea of adopting Western democracy in China. If so, Liu Xiaobo would have already obtained a lot of donation from overseas Chinese, who are not afraid of retaliation of the Communist Party and who are wealthy.
    The fact is that most of the overseas Chinese who are living in the U.S. or E.U. reject the idea of applying Western democracy to China. The liberal democracy can work well in Western countries but it does not fit China, just like it does not fit Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Western countries should stop preaching its so-called value everywhere. Not all people like Western value and ideology.
    Recommended by 148 Readers

    American Expat
    date:October 8th, 2010
    time:8:12 am

    If the Nobel peace prize committee did it out of a purist, if somewhat naive idealism for freedom of speech, I respect that. Unfortunately too many time:s the Oslo committee has taken itself too serious and wanted to use this vehicle, a strangely sexy power bestowed on a number of people whose qualification to define the meaning of peace for us is understood by no one, to promote their pet idea of where the world should be going. Really, is there a consistent message from this committee over the years? Just think of awardees, the likes of Obama, Kissinger, Le Duc Tho, etc. What is the message? Where is the consistency? For the science Nobels at least the prizes awarded are more or less in line with a global consensus. The peace prize seems like too much influence monopolized by a bunch of insulated, sanctimonious people. It is a little scary. But then, anyone is free to take it serious or not. It would be interesting to know how the world has really changed, because of, or in spite of, the keen desire of these committee members to change it through this tool according to their pet beliefs.
    Recommended by 125 Readers

    location:New York NY
    date:October 8th, 2010
    time:7:39 am

    I’m simply estatic. The fascist Chinese Communist Party deserves nothing less than a slap in the face. The Party has killed more Chinese than the Japanese did in WWII. Kudos to the Nobel Committee. God bless you, Mr. Liu. [from a fellow Chinese]
    Recommended by 111 Readers

  2. jiang
    October 8th, 2010 at 17:27 | #2

    The americans or westerns are wants chinese lag back to the time when they can crash down on us, took the antique treasure as their trophy, molest or outrage our females just like before. they jealous us for stable society, graceful women and theirs are stagnation which means backward or they frightened by all these that they will be have a chariact shift with a former china.
    Liu is a bastard who just like the matyre of “反清复明”(regain the regime of ming dyniest to subversion the jarless and prospect qing dyniest), these kind of people are animals who can not see the populans have a good life or living worriless of food, safety but eargely to push the country into flame pit such as Afghanistan and he will delight source fr it.

  3. colin
    October 8th, 2010 at 18:50 | #3

    All this award does is cheapen the nobel brand, as if it could be cheapened more after Obama and Krugman got awards. What a joke.

  4. colin
    October 8th, 2010 at 19:04 | #4

    Given the liberal and reform views Wen Jiabao has been recently pushing, does this award end his political career? Just as the 89 demonstrations put an end to the liberal reformers in the CCP back then?

  5. October 8th, 2010 at 20:07 | #5

    Should not Wen get the award instead?

  6. raffiaflower
    October 8th, 2010 at 21:34 | #6

    Actually the word is already buzzing that the wise old men of the Nobel are considering Han Han as the next Nobel Peace Prize laureate from China.

  7. October 8th, 2010 at 23:51 | #7

    Deng Xiaoping should have gotten the award too. It’s amazing how thinly veiled the prize’s hypocrisy is. It’s even more amazing the committee may not even feel that way.

    The Chinese government may be getting flacked in the West, but this event only strengthens support by the ordinary Chinese within China.

  8. October 9th, 2010 at 01:42 | #8

    Editorial from Arab News

    Editorial: “A political prize”

    Once again the Norwegian Nobel Committee honors a dissident

    In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has thrown down the gauntlet to China. Beijing had made it clear in the past few weeks that it opposed to the prize going to Liu and had tried its hardest to pressure the committee not to give it to him. The Chinese, and not just the government, are bound to see this as an attack — a Western attack — on them.

    They would be right. The very language used by committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland when making the announcement was a verbal slap in the face for the country. He was stinging in his criticism, saying China was in breech of its own constitution as well as of international agreements and had to act responsibly. Rarely has the Nobel Committee taken such a hard line with a country. The nearest that comes to it was the 1991 award to Burmese opposition leader Aung San Sui Kyi and then in 2003 when the peace prize was handed to Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi “for promoting democracy and human rights” in Iran. But in both those cases the intended rebuke was not administered with anything like the same force as today. Certainly it would be difficult to imagine US President Barack Obama or any European leader coming out with such ringing criticism of China. It would cause a massive international row.

    That may happen anyway. A smarting China is now threatening relations with Norway — unfortunate because the decision was not the Norwegian government’s to make. With the award welcomed by a number of Western governments such as France and Germany, Beijing is more than likely to turn the heat on them as well, for the Nobel Peace Prize is about as damning an international criticism as can be imagined. Not that China is likely to have any respect for a committee that, 21 years ago, gave the peace prize to the Dalai Lama. One thing is, therefore, certain. The award is not going to force Beijing to release Liu. It is going to proclaim all the more loudly that he is just a criminal and that it is a gross interference in its internal affairs to meddle in the matter. If anything, it will make things worse for him.

    The Nobel Committee must have known that, but then the decision to award the prize to Liu and take such a provocative stand perhaps says more about it than it does about concerns about human rights in China. There will be many who see, as the real reason for the decision, the Nobel Committee’s desire to salvage its reputation after last year’s controversial award to President Barack Obama. It exposed itself to ridicule with that decision, making itself look lightweight and trivial. (Nor did Obama come out of it well; he should have had the wisdom to refuse.)

    It apparently wants to look serious again. But bearing what has happened to Aung San Sui Kyi, still under arrest, such seriousness is not going to have any serious consequences. The real danger is that by honoring wrong persons and causes other than promotion of peace, the committee may rob the Nobel Peace Prize of its prestige and value.

  9. Charles Liu
    October 9th, 2010 at 03:29 | #9

    The evidence of US government’s underwriting of Liu Xiaobo has been systematically erased. Who’s doing this? Your guess is as good as mine.

    But the good news is they are still in the web archive. Plug the broken links into web.waybackmachine.org, and you can see the money that changed hands – to the tune of over $650,000.

    Kudos Nobel, you just gave the peace prize to an American spy.

  10. October 9th, 2010 at 06:34 | #10

    @Charles Liu
    Yes, because spies are openly funded leaving evidence of the funding on the internet. Not exactly 007, is it?

    Moreover, simply receiving a grant is not evidence of spying, nor was spying, if you recall, the actual charge against Liu. However, I think, given your previous publishing of death-threats against Liu ( http://blog.foolsmountain.com/2008/12/30/%E6%88%91%E7%9C%8B08%E5%AE%AA%E7%AB%A0/ ), you might be more a bit more circumspect on this matter.

  11. October 9th, 2010 at 06:40 | #11

    Yes, because a dictator who has implemented precisely zero meaningful reforms of political rights during his tenure is exactly the kind of person for whom the prize was intended.

    If an argument were to be made for any person of Chinese ethnicity who did not receive the prize, I might say Jiang Jingguo and the Dangwai movement, since their efforts did result in a peaceful transition of power in Taiwan.

  12. October 9th, 2010 at 07:58 | #12


    I happen to have a broader perspective than you do about peace. It’s not just about ideology or a specific brand of politics, but also prosperity, empowerment, and improving the human condition in general. But that’s ok. If you want to reach all the way down to Jiang Jingguo for the prize, that is good news indeed. Many Westerners will wise up one day and appreciate the many other Chinese up the totem pole who deserve the prize.

  13. Charles Liu
    October 9th, 2010 at 10:31 | #13

    Foarse, as an example, under FARA financial sponsorship by foreign entity, in part or whole, is sufficient to substantiate foreign agent status.

    Allen, absolutely agree. Taking money from US government to advocate abolition of China’s constitution to the detriment of China’s sovereignty and well being of 1.3 billion people is as away from peace as I can imagine.

  14. Otto Kerner
    October 9th, 2010 at 12:47 | #14

    I don’t know who Shao Han is, but he or she has a bizarre view of the 1911 revolution. Yuan Shikai fought against it, then opportunistically allied with the rebels in order to make himself president, and then threw the country into chaos by betraying his allies and trying to seize control of the state before trying to become emperor. Hurray for peaceful constitutional rule!

  15. Otto Kerner
    October 9th, 2010 at 12:54 | #15

    The rest of Shao Han’s points are confusing, vague, and possibly contradictory. What does, “How to test the water? Have the CCP formulate ‘transitional constitutional rule legislation’, not limited to these provisions:” mean? How do you “have” the CCP do these things? It would be great if they did do them, but they don’t seem interested in complying. And this comes from someone who is criticising LXB for not being more practical. Shao Han should figure out how to express him- or herself more cogently and concisely before criticising LXB.

  16. October 9th, 2010 at 18:25 | #16

    @Charles Liu
    But, Charles, that was not the charge, was it?

  17. xian
    October 9th, 2010 at 20:31 | #17

    It is shocking to see how many people believe “the West” is behind this. Am I to believe some monolithic western entity (the CIA?) controls the Nobel committee just to tick China off? Because I live in the West, and the notion that a group of 5 westerners would come to honor someone like Liu without any coercion or ulterior motive is not unlikely at all. In fact, I bet most would sympathize with him. What happened is the Nobel committee went around looking for candidates, found some poor ones, and picked a random guy out of desperation because they feel the need to give out a prize every year. I seriously doubt it’s any more than that. As for the NED paying Liu off, well the NED pays off all kinds of “democracy advocates” around the world. It really speaks more about NED than it does about Liu.

  18. October 9th, 2010 at 23:13 | #18


    You are setting up all kinds of straw man. Who is arguing “‘the West’ is behind this.”? The Chinese government is upset at the committee and Norway. We are expressing our dissatisfaction with the Western media and the so called “democracy” activists in the West.

    You said: “As for the NED paying Liu off, well the NED pays off all kinds of “democracy advocates” around the world.”

    If I have to guess, I would think that the fact Liu got so much funding from the NED makes the prosecution against him in Chinese courts easier.

    Look at it this way – China has convicted a criminal, and the Nobel Peace Prize committee selects Liu as some sort of saint knowing full well what the prize means in the West. Can you see that the Chinese government – and the Chinese people – see that act as pretty offensive?

  19. October 10th, 2010 at 03:12 | #19

    So yinyang, someone (correct me if I’m wrong here) who is a long-term resident of the US, knows what the Chinese people, the vast majority of whom have not even been allowed to find out about Liu, Charter ’08, or the awarding of the prize, think about this matter?

    The rest of your statement leaves me at a total loss. What does the media have to do with this – did the media award the prize? In what way is it reasonable to be angry at “Norway” for the decision of a five-man panel? In what way is Liu not a “democracy activist”?

    As for this mindless talk about the National Endowment for Democracy, just go and read the official criminal verdict in Liu’s case here:


    Does it mention the NED? No. Was Liu charged with spying? No. Was Liu charged with being the agent of a foreign government? No. Was Liu charged with accepting funds from foreign sources? No.

    Liu was charged with publishing articles critical of the CCP and advocating non-violent change. This was his crime. Liu is a ‘criminal’ because he had the temerity to publish articles saying what hundreds of millions of Chinese think – that democratic reforms are necessary.

  20. xian
    October 10th, 2010 at 04:51 | #20

    I’m not disagreeing with anything you said, yinyang. But I think we both know there is a chorus of people claiming he is a spy or “western collaborator”, and I think that’s heading too far into the realm of conspiracy.

  21. Charles Liu
    October 10th, 2010 at 13:37 | #21

    Not at all Xian, Liu Xiaobo taking money from the US government to conduct domestic political activity is a fact, and part of his subversive activity prosecution.

    As DW had alluded to, prosecution of Liu on subversion is based on state’s right to perserve sovereignty. Even US has the same law, Foreign Agent Registration Act, forbidding foreign sponsorship of domestic political activity.

    Here’s the court doucment on Lu’s conviction:


    Allow me to highlighy parts of page 4, item 1 & 2:

    1) Liu Xiaobo had no significant income, other than payment from abroad for his articles on political commentary
    2) Liu set up a bank account under his wife’s name, and Bank of China records show Liu’s wife withdrew foreign remittance from this account.

    Seems to me, establishing Liu’s status as a foreign agent, based on financial sponsorship by foreign entity (the same criteria as FARA under US Code), is part of the evidence that convicted him.

  22. rolf
    October 10th, 2010 at 15:24 | #22

    Here is an update with the correct links between the American governmental organization NED (N a t i o n a l E n d o w m e n t f o r D e m o c r a c y ) and Liu Xiaobo.

    This important connection was first discovered by Charles Liu, which in many ways is a real hero, fighting for truth in a media world dominated by big business imperialists and black and white anti-China propaganda.

    Who is Liu Xiaobo? Wikipedia: “Liu Xiaobo … President of the Independent Chinese PEN Center since 2003”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Xiaobo

    Liu Xiaobo has received money from the US government for years: Grants to Liu Xiaobo, President of ICPC, “Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Inc.”, from the NED, a US government entity:

    “Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Inc.”
    Scroll down to “Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Inc.”
    $152,950 (2009)
    $135,000 (2007)
    $135,000 (2006)

    Total sum from NED for “Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Inc.”: US $422 950

    (The 2004 grants for “Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Inc.” has been removed resently by NED from the site)

    “Independent Chinese PEN Centre, Inc.” is not the only source of money for Liu Xiaobo. He also gets money from NED for Minzhu Zhongguo, “Democratic China, Inc.”, where he is the Founder:

    Scroll down to “Democratic China, Inc.”
    $195,000 (2009)
    $18,000 (Supplement 2009)
    $145,000 (2007)
    $136,000 (2005)

    Total sum for “Democratic China, Inc.” from NED: US$ 494 000

    Total support from NED during the three years is US$ 916 950 which is about 7 million yuan – a huge sum of money in China – where salaries are about 20% of the level in Western countries.

    What is NED?

    In 1991, Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, candidly said: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” In effect, the CIA launders money through NED. (Washington Post, Sept.22, 1991)

    New York Times wrote on December 4, 1985: “The National Endowment for Democracy is a quasi-governmental foundation created by the Reagan Administration in 1983 to channel millions of Federal dollars into anti-Communist ‘private diplomacy.'”

    NED (National Endowment for Democracy) is funded by the American government, and is subject to congressional oversight – which is a prettier word for “government control”. The purpose is to fund individuals, political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) favourable to US interests.

    Republican congressman from the Texas Gulf Coast, Dr. Ron Paul, who is more Libertarian than Republican, writes: “The misnamed National Endowment for Democracy is nothing more than a costly program that takes US taxpayer funds to promote favored politicians and political parties abroad. What the NED does in foreign countries … would be rightly illegal in the United States.”

    The payment from NED to US-friendly groups is not a new thing. Eric T. Hale showed in his dissertation (2003) that during the 1990s, China and Russia were awarded the highest number of NED grants with 222 and 221, respectively. Total payment to groups in China during these ten years was astonishing US$ 20.999.229, which equals 140 million Chinese yuan!

    Former CIA-agent Ralph McGehee writes: “… the current US policy of using (rightly or wrongly) the theme of human rights violations to alter or overthrow non-US-favored governments. In those countries emerging from the once Soviet Bloc that is forming new governmental systems; or where emerging or Third World governments resist US influence or control, the US uses ‘human rights violations,’ as an excuse for political action operations. ‘Human Rights’ replaces ‘Communist Conspiracy’ as the justification for overthrowing governments.”

    In this meaning The Nobel Peace Prize Committee’s decision becomes a political plot to harm China, and Liu Xiaobo an American agent.

    Some additional comments:

    The committee is elected by the dominating political factions of Norway, which are the Labour Party or social democratic party (which is soft anti-communist) and Høyre (Right) or the conservative party (which is hard anti-communist, but impressed by Chinas development).

    The leader of the committee Mr. Torbjørn Jagland, who is a former Norwegian prime minister for Labour, is a right-wing social democrat with strong anti-communist attitudes. He is also clumsy. Jagland is Secretary General of the Council of Europe! Believe it or not. His “neutrality” can easily be seen at his web pages http://www.coe.int/T/SECRETARYGENERAL/SG/

    To me it seems that the members of the committee does not know much about China. Actually I have the feeling that the leader of the Norwegian Nobel committee Mr. Torbjørn Jagland and the director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute Mr. Geir Lundestad are not up their responsibility.

    From what they have done and said for years one can easily see that the committee is very pro US and pro EU.

  23. October 10th, 2010 at 15:31 | #23


    Not sure what’s happening. My email is not working right now either. Strange. Try sending me your comment attached as a text file. Btw, I deleted the original shortened comments after I saw you email about the spam filter saying the comment has been submitted already.


    Note: sorry about this. It is fixed now. Hope that doesn’t happen too often.

  24. Charles Liu
    October 10th, 2010 at 19:51 | #24

    Rolf, thanks for updating the links. Removed 2004 grant info can be found in the web archive:


    In 2004 ICPC recevied $85,000 and Democratic China got $135,000

  25. October 11th, 2010 at 00:32 | #25

    @Charles Liu
    Charles, read the conviction:

    “This court believes that defendant Liu Xiaobo, with the intention of overthrowing the state power and socialist system of our country’s people’s democratic dictatorship, used the Internet’s features of rapid transmission of information, broad reach, great social influence, and high degree of public attention, as well as the method of writing and publishing articles on the Internet, to slander and incite others to overthrow our country’s state power and the socialist system. His actions constitute the crime of inciting subversion of state power. Furthermore, the crime was committed over a long period of time, and the subjective malice was immense. His articles were widely linked, reproduced, and viewed, spreading vile influence. He is an offender of a major crime and should be given severe punishment according to the law.

    […….] the facts and evidence established through examination by this court hearing of the case have amply proved that Liu Xiaobo used the media features of the Internet and by means of publishing slanderous articles online carried out activities that incited subversion of our country’s state power and the socialist system. Liu Xiaobo’s actions have obviously exceeded the freedom of speech category and constitute criminal offense.

    [……..] this court hereby sentences him according to stipulations of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, Article 105 (2); Article 55 (1); Article 56 (1); and Article 64, as follows:

    1. Defendant Liu Xiaobo has committed the crime of inciting subversion of state power. He is sentenced to a fixed-term imprisonment of eleven years and to two years’ deprivation of political rights. (The prison term is calculated from the date that the judgment is executed. Any detention preceding the execution of the judgment shall be subtracted from the prison term, one day off per day of the detention. The term is thus from June 23, 2009, to June 21, 2020.)

    2. All items used by Liu Xiaobo to commit the crime, which had been delivered with this case, shall be confiscated (list is attached below).

    If [the defendant] does not accept this verdict, [he] can submit an appeal through this court or directly to the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court within ten days of the second day after receiving this verdict. In the case of a written appeal, one original and two duplicate copies should be submitted.

    You can see that the NED had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS SENTENCING. There is no mention of him being a foreign agent, there is no mention of him receiving funds from foreign organisations, there is no mention of him “spying”. Despite all your bloviating, Liu was sentenced for publishing articles critical of the Chinese government and collecting signatures for a mildly reformist charter.

    I’m calling you out right here. Find one thing IN THE SENTENCING which states that Liu was punished for being a foreign agent, spy, or what have you.

  26. rolf
    October 11th, 2010 at 09:43 | #26



    I understand since you shout, that this is your last argument.

    Remember that not everything is written in a conviction. Have you forgotten his wife’s bank-account which he opened in her name? See verdict: “Account Opening Certificate and Bank Remittance Record issued by the Beijing Branch and Muxidi Sub-branch of the Bank of China Limited prove that: Liu Xiaobo’s wife Liu Xia’s bank account has received and drawn foreign remittances (foreign currency).”

    Problably the money is not sent in NEDs name from Washington DC. For sure NED has experience and methods in doing this in sophisticated way.

    Most important: If you read what Liu Xiaobo has been saying and doing for years – and you understand that he wants the Chinese authorities and especially the Chinese communist party, to hell. He becomes by receiving the NED-money, willingly or unwillingly, an agent for the American government, who has had a well-funded, advanced and longterm program for creating problems and unrest in China, which they hope can harm, isolate and harm the Chinese government, like in 1989.

    The American president and other American officials at regular intervals openly support the most important NED-paid “dissident” groups without any shame. How many times has Dalai Lama been received in the White House? Obama seems to treat Rebiya Kadeer as an hero.

    The NED has for years been giving “the NED’s Democracy Award” to “dissidents”. Believe it or not, the award is a small-scale replica of the “Goddess of Democracy” which they also call “the Symbol of Democracy Around the Globe”.

    NED is saying: “The original statue was created by art students from the Central Academy of Art in Beijing and by democracy demonstrators; it was unveiled in Tiananmen Square on May 30, 1989. During the government crackdown on June 4, the statue was destroyed by a tank – an unforgettable moment that was witnessed throughout the world.”

    Ralph McGehee adds: “Prior to the Tiananmen Square incident, NED maintained two offices inside China and conducted regular seminars on Democracy. NED also sponsored various Chinese writers and publications. Probably NED or CIA, recruited numerous Chinese students studying in the United States; and, when Tiananmen Square erupted, either sent of helped fax thousands of letters to recipients in China, inflamed opinion via the Voice of America; and sheltered a leading dissident in the U.S. Embassy, which also arranged for many dissidents to flee China. NED continues to support Chinese activists and awards Tiananmen’s “Goddess of Democracy,” to noted dissidents of all nations.”

    Han Dongfang, received “the NED Democracy Award” in 1993. He is the Director of China Labour Bulletin which is a group that has obtained ample funding from the NED via “the Asian-American Free Labor Institute”, he is also a broadcaster for “Radio Free Asia”, a member of the steering committee of the NED-initiated “World Movement for Democracy”, and he is a former director of the NED-funded “Human Rights in China”, according to Michael Barker in Waging Democracy On China.

    Wang Dan, who is the co-founder of the NED-funded Beijing Spring magazine received “the NED Democracy Award” in 1998.

    In 2008 Chinese “dissidents” Zhang Jianhong; Li Baiguang; Li Heping; Teng Biao; Chen Guangcheng (the blind man); Yao Fuxin, and Hu Shigen all received “the NED Democracy Award”

    In 2010: Dalai Lama was given “the NED Democracy Service Medal” for his excellent service, http://www.ned.org/events/democracy-service-medal/dalai-lama-honored-with-ned-democracy-service-medal

    For some reason it is not possible to copy the link to “Medal Presentation by Carl Gershman, President, NED”, but it’s is possible to watch the video where Dalai is telling how thankful he is to NED. He seems to know well all the dignitaries sitting in the front row, http://www.c-spanarchives.org/program/ID/219818

    By the way:

    For some strange reason, the groups on the NED-list usually gets full support from Western media, especially CCN, BBC, and Voice of America. It is mostly black and white-news. Periodically this seems to include almost every American newspaper (?) I have always wonder why is it so? Are there paid agents inside these media? Or are the journalists just so very China-stupid and only copy from the big once? Can anybody exlain? At the moment it seems that only Myanmar, North Korea and Iran is treated worse than China by Western media.

    The same one-sidedness applies to every Human Rights group I know of – including the Amnesty International. One of the worst is NED-linked “Reporters Without Borders”.

    Sadly almost all of the China blogs are also biased against China. China Digital Times is of course one of the most one-sided. Do I have to mention that CDT receives money from the NED?

  27. October 11th, 2010 at 14:34 | #27

    “Remember that not everything is written in a conviction”

    Remember that everything for which he was punished, was. His conviction was for publishing articles critical of the Chinese government on the internet, and for nothing else. According to the logic of his conviction, anyone who does so is breaking the law and can also receive a long jail sentence – are you denying this?

  28. October 11th, 2010 at 15:31 | #28

    And just in case anyone here is wondering what exactly I’m saying, it is that ACCORDING TO THE CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST LIU, HE WAS PUBLISHED FOR WHAT HE WROTE, NOT BECAUSE OF THE WAY HE PAID THE BILLS.

    So, yinyang, Rolf, Charles Liu – why in god’s name are you carrying on about the NED when he was not punished for receiving funds from the NED, or from anyone else?

    If Liu was a spy, why was he not charged with spying? If Liu was a foreign agent, why was he not charged as such? If Liu was a traitor, why was he not charged with treason?

    His conviction clearly states what he was charged for – his conviction was for publishing articles critical of the Chinese government on the internet.

  29. October 11th, 2010 at 16:08 | #29


    Don’t get so bent out of shape. You are completely misrepresenting what Liu Xiaobo is convicted for. The Beijing court convicted him for subversion of state power, not simply as you state, “publishing articles critical of the Chinese government on the internet.”

    I take your word the verdict didn’t spell out NED. You are really insulting peoples intelligence for saying there is no connection between Liu and the NED though.

    Btw, there are very serious “democracy advocates” who believe the Western “democracy advocates” should distance themselves from the NED because of what the NED clandestinely does around the world.

  30. October 11th, 2010 at 16:29 | #30

    “You are completely misrepresenting what Liu Xiaobo is convicted for. The Beijing court convicted him for subversion of state power, not simply as you state, “publishing articles critical of the Chinese government on the internet.”

    The court was very specific, yinyang. Liu’s “inciting subversion of state power” took the form of “[using] the media features of the Internet and … publishing slanderous articles online”. This means that, for Liu to be guilty of “subverting state power” all he needed to do was to publish articles online critical of the Chinese government, this is what his conviction was for – are you denying this?

    Liu was not punished for receiving funds from anyone. Not the NED. Not Chinese PEN. Not the US government. Liu was neither convicted nor charged with spying. Liu was neither convicted nor charged with being a foreign agent. These are facts. These are not theories.

  31. Charles Liu
    October 11th, 2010 at 17:26 | #31

    Liu Xiaobo was [using] the media features of the internet and … publishing slanderous articles online ***while under foreign sponsorship***.

    Read the part of the verdict you omitted – page 4 section 1 & 2. As rolf had pointed out, the first thing the prosecution established was his articles were paid for by foreigners, qualifying him as a foreign agent.

    This is the same statutory qualification we have per FARA – financial sponsorship in part or whole.

  32. October 11th, 2010 at 17:43 | #32

    @Charles Liu
    NO NO NO NO. Read the conviction – where does it say in the conviction where the actual crime of which he was convicted is described that funding was material to the case? I am not asking you to be a lawyer, I am not asking you to be a judge. I am merely asking you to read the actual crime of which Liu was actually convicted. Liu’s was not not convicted of receiving foreign funds. He was convicted of “subverting state power” by publishing articles on the internet.

  33. October 11th, 2010 at 17:49 | #33

    @Charles Liu
    PS – Who’s this ‘we’? I am not an American. I have never even visited America. You are the American, FARA is your problem. Rather than publishing death threats against brave men who work for the freedom of their countrymen, why don’t you do something about FARA if you find it so objectionable?

  34. Charles Liu
    October 11th, 2010 at 20:44 | #34

    Foarp, is it publishing or republishing, make up your mind. Also for the N-th time, I didn’t write it, take it up with the author. You are not American then you are not of par of the we, so? Your reapated BS strawman is getting old.

    As if you really can’t face the fact Liu’s foreign sponsorhip and ties had significant role in his conviction. It’s obvious you didn’t read the verdict:

    – Right off the bat page 4 evidence section 1 and 2 demonstrated he had foreign financing
    – Word like “foreign”, “abroad” was mentioned 15 times in the verdict document
    – Page 6 evidence section 14 devoted to his collaboration with overseas Falun Gong, mentioned epochtimes.com 5 times.

    Admit it, you are wrong. Here’s the verdict, read it:


  35. Jimmy
    October 11th, 2010 at 22:09 | #35

    @Charles Liu & rolf:

    After reading the verdict (I am a Chinese citizen), I would agree with FOARP’s conclusion that the verdict has no link with NED. Although I would thank you for your hard work to find Liu’s connection with NED. And I admit that the evidence part does mention foreign income. But the reasoning of the verdict has nothing to do with NED. It does not even imply that NED’s financial support leads to Liu’s actions. Accusing that Liu is a spy is pretty baseless from the verdict. Accusing that Liu is a foreign agent is not conclusive from the verdict, either. Let’s face the facts.

    From my stand of point, I would accuse US government, NED, and Nobel prize committee for their attempts to put political pressure on China, and to potentially de-stablize China. I also would accuse the Chinese government for their lacking of skills to treat dissidents. As for Liu, he is a victim of the political struggle between the two parties.

  36. October 11th, 2010 at 23:03 | #36


    “As for Liu, he is a victim of the political struggle between the two parties.”

    I’ll second that.

    I also think there is a semantic difference here with this “link” vs. “no link” issue. In reality, Liu Xiaobo got funding from the NED as evidenced by what Charles/Rolf found – on NED’s own records no less.

    The verdict may not name NED specifically. I don’t think the Beijing prosecutors wanted to confound the case with intent or whatever from the NED. You catch a rapist in the midst of raping someone; you convict that criminal. You really don’t care who pays his electric bills.

    So, reality is NED is in the picture – that much we know. Whether the verdict specifically proves the NED connection one way or another is moot. So, to me, this “link” vs. “no link” is just a distraction.

    The issue with FOARP is he doesn’t agree with China’s subversion of power law due to ideological differences. Priests are capable of molesting children. I am willing to bet “democracy advocates” are plenty capable of break laws too.

    This discussion about Liu’s verdict is not going to be fruitful here. We are not going to do a trial in this forum. For FOARP to make all sorts of accusations about the verdict, he probably should obtain a copy of the court trial or something. Even that, that’d be FOARP (sounds like a “democracy advocate” or crusader personality to me) against the Beijing court judges.

    FOARP – I am sorry, I am tired of entertaining your comments about this verdict. Tell us something we don’t know or move on.

  37. October 11th, 2010 at 23:22 | #37

    @Charles Liu
    Charles – Well done, you have parsed the verdict using Google stats.Having counted the number of times the word ‘guilty’ was used, did you also conclude that he must have been guilty?

    Liu’s conviction was not for spying, Liu’s conviction was not for being a foreign agent, Liu’s conviction was not for treason. The verdict was very clear about what the crime that Liu was convicted of was. Liu’s crime was described as follows:

    “This court believes that defendant Liu Xiaobo, with the intention of overthrowing the state power and socialist system of our country’s people’s democratic dictatorship, used the Internet’s features of rapid transmission of information, broad reach, great social influence, and high degree of public attention, as well as the method of writing and publishing articles on the Internet, to slander and incite others to overthrow our country’s state power and the socialist system. His actions constitute the crime of inciting subversion of state power. Furthermore, the crime was committed over a long period of time, and the subjective malice was immense. His articles were widely linked, reproduced, and viewed, spreading vile influence. He is an offender of a major crime and should be given severe punishment according to the law.”

    There is no mention of foreign funding in his conviction. To say that his conviction was for receiving foreign funds is quite simply wrong. This is not a difference of opinion. This is a simple matter of fact.

  38. October 12th, 2010 at 00:45 | #38

    Here is an example of what’s wrong with Western media coverage:

    “Nobel Prize Awarded to Liu Xiaobo: A Critique of New York Times Coverage”

  39. Charles Liu
    October 12th, 2010 at 01:04 | #39

    Farse, you are wrong again. Had you actually read the entire verdict document, including the evidence section 1-17 in page 4-9 (a mere 5 pages), you too would’ve counted the 15 references to foreign remittance, overseas websites.

    You would’ve also seen Falun Gong being highted in evidence section 14, where overseas Falun Gong website epochtimes.com is mentioned 5 times.

    All these evidence of foreign funding and collaboration led to the “widly linked, reproduced, and viewed” conclusion by the court.

    I guess you would’ve realized this, had you the capacity to read the entire verdict docuemnt.

  40. October 12th, 2010 at 01:17 | #40

    There is not actually that much more to say. Your analogy is valid. The situation is exactly as if Liu had been convicted of shop-lifting – it was only necessary to show that Liu had committed the relevant acts (walking into the shop, putting a loaf of bread under his coat, walking out, eating the loaf) with the relevant intent. How he paid the bills during his life of crime was irrelevant to the crime for which he was convicted.

    Likewise, to find Liu guilty of subversion of state power, it was only necessary for the court to show that Liu had written articles critical of the Chinese government and had published them on the internet for others to read with the intent of changing China’s political system. In any criminal trial, introducing facts extraneous to the alleged crime diffuses the issue under discussion, so in this case, as it was unnecessary to show foreign funding to find Liu guilty, the prosecutor did not attempt this.

    You are also correct to say that I disagree with China’s subversion of state power laws for ideological reasons, as it criminalises free-speech and non-violent protest. I believe that the Chinese state is already sufficiently protected by the laws covering violent forms of subversion (the anti-terror laws, for example) and it is therefore not necessary for it to attempt to prevent non-violent protest and criticism through the use of this law. I also believe that this law is inconsistent with China’s commitments under international law, particularly the UN declaration on human rights. Finally, I am very much aware that, were I put on trial for the same crime that Liu was, I would probably also be found guilty, as would many others would have published articles critical of the Chinese government on the internet.

    However, I am not now going to dispute the actual ruling of the court. Liu himself admitted to writing and publishing the articles. Liu’s statements and membership of pro-democracy organisation may very well be enough, in the eyes of the court, to show intent to change China’s political system. Whilst I have grave concerns about the independence and impartiality of the court, and about the apparent conflict between the court’s interpretation of the law and the right of free speech granted to Chinese citizens under Article 35 of the PRC constitution, Chinese courts do not have the power to invalidate a statute on grounds of unconstitutionality (only the NPCSC has this power), and it is simply unrealistic to expect impartiality or independence in such circumstances.

    You probably wonder why, therefore, I have argued at such great length and so angrily about what the crime Liu as convicted for was, since it appears that we are not in total disagreement. Simply put, it was because, unlike our usual arguments which are often on matters of opinion, this one was on a point of fact. It therefore seemed to me to be essential to point out the facts of the case as described in the court’s verdict.

  41. Charles Liu
    October 12th, 2010 at 01:39 | #41

    Farse, you are again wrong:

    “it was only necessary for the court to show that Liu had written articles critical of the Chinese government and had published them on the internet”

    Wrong – the prosecution did more than that. Specific overseas websites were specifically referenced along with the articles

    “as it was unnecessary to show foreign funding to find Liu guilty, the prosecutor did not attempt this”

    Wrong – the prosecution produced evidence of foreign funding to Liu, in page 4 evidence section 1 & 2

    It seems you have no ability or willingness to read page 4-9 evidence section 1-17. Keep fooling yourself.

  42. October 12th, 2010 at 02:58 | #42

    @Charles Liu
    It seems that yinyang is tiring of our little conversation. Perhaps we should change it up a little bit?

    How’s this – Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo’s wife, who has not been accused of any crime, is now under reportedly under house arrest. Perhaps you could explain why exactly this is, since you are so well informed? Perhaps an answer can be found on the Wayback machine? Or maybe through an analysis of the number of times “Liu Xia” and “NED” are used in the same sentence using Google stats?

  43. October 12th, 2010 at 05:51 | #43

    Oh, in relation to Liu’s conviction, there is just one more thing that is worth discussing, and that is the contrast between this case and that of Guo Quan. Guo Quan was convicted of subversion of state power for publishing articles critical of the Chinese government and forming a pro-democracy political party. The verdict in his case can be read here:


    Here’s the specific grounds of conviction in Guo’s case:

    ” This court has determined that defendant Guo Quan went online to organize the illegal “China New Democracy Party,” published a large number of reactionary articles, recruited party members, plotted actions such as the “Seven-Day At-Home Revolution” and the “Blue Movement of the Democratic Revolution,” and organized, plotted, and carried out [actions to] subvert state power and overthrow the socialist system. His actions constitute the crime of subversion, his crimes are major, and he should be punished in accordance with the law. With respect to the Suqian People’s Procuratorate’s indictment charging defendant Guo Quan with the crime of subversion, the facts are clear, the evidence is credible and sufficient, and the determination is accurate. With respect to the defense argument of defendant Guo Quan and his defense attorneys that Guo Quan had neither subjective intent nor objective actions to subvert state power and overthrow the socialist system, investigation confirms that there is evidence to verify that defendant Guo Quan organized, plotted, and carried out actions to subvert state power and overthrow the socialist system, including material evidence, documentary evidence, witness testimony, investigation records, and multiple statements made by Guo Quan during the investigative stage. This evidence was lawfully obtained, is mutually corroborative, and is sufficient [basis] for making determinations [of fact]; this defense argument made by defendant Guo Quan and his defense attorneys [therefore] cannot be accepted. With respect to the defense argument of defendant Guo Quan and his defense attorneys that Guo Quan’s actions do not constitute a crime because his organization of a party and publication of articles online was the lawful exercise of his constitutional rights to freedom of association and freedom of speech, investigation shows that the rights to freedom of association and freedom of speech are political rights granted to citizens under China’s constitution, but the constitution also clearly stipulates that citizens shall not damage the interests or security of the state in exercising those rights. Defendant Guo Quan employed methods such as illegally organizing the “China New Democracy Party,” publishing articles, recruiting party members, and plotting the “Seven-Day At-Home Revolution” to subvert state power, overthrow the socialist system, and endanger state security. His actions meet the main constitutive criteria for the crime of subversion, and thus this defense argument made by defendant Guo Quan and his defense attorneys cannot be accepted. Therefore, in accordance with Articles 105(1), 55(1), 56(1), and 64 of the PRC Criminal Law, [this court] rules as follows:

    I. Defendant Guo Quan is sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment with subsequent deprivation of political rights for three years for the crime of subversion.

    (The prison term is to be calculated from the day the verdict is implemented, with each day spent in detention prior to the verdict’s implementation to count as one day of the prison term; therefore, it will run from November 13, 2008, to November 12, 2018).

    II. All seized items such as computers or USB drives used in the case shall be confiscated.

    If this verdict is not accepted, an appeal may be filed within ten days of the second day following the receipt of this verdict, either to this court or directly to the Jiangsu Higher People’s Court. In the case of a written appeal, the original appellate petition must be submitted together with two copies.”

    It is worth noting that in both Guo’s case, and in Liu’s case, the mere publishing of articles critical of the government was found to constitute subversion of state power and in breach of Article 105; Article 55 (1); Article 56 (1); and Article 64 of the PRC criminal code. Both men were found in breach of the same statute based on similar reasoning. Guo has never to my knowledge been accused of associating with foreign organisations of any kind.

  44. October 13th, 2010 at 00:53 | #44


    You said:

    It is worth noting that in both Guo’s case, and in Liu’s case, the mere publishing of articles critical of the government was found to constitute subversion of state power and in breach of Article 105; Article 55 (1); Article 56 (1); and Article 64 of the PRC criminal code.

    “Mere” is your interpretation based on your reading of a verdict statement – translated no less.

    I don’t understand how you can come to this conclusion. Were you at the trials? Did you read the Chinese trial proceedings? Do you know what the evidence the prosecution used?

  45. October 13th, 2010 at 05:28 | #45

    yinyang, both Guo and Liu were convicted of breaching Article 105 of the PRC criminal code, which states:

    “Article 105. Whoever organizes, plots, or acts to subvert the political power of the state and overthrow the socialist system, the ringleaders or those whose crimes are grave are to be sentenced to life imprisonment, or not less than 10 years of fixed-term imprisonment; active participants are to be sentenced from not less than three years to not more than 10 years of fixed-term imprisonment; other participants are to be sentenced to not more than three years of fixed-term imprisonment, criminal detention, control, or deprivation of political rights.

    Whoever instigates the subversion of the political power of the state and overthrow the socialist system through spreading rumours, slandering, or other ways are to be sentenced to not more than five years of fixed-term imprisonment, criminal detention, control, or deprivation of political rights; the ringleaders and those whose crimes are grave are to be sentenced to not less than five years of fixed-term imprisonment.”

    The additional articles (Articles 55, 56, and 64) cover only the removal of their political rights and the confiscation of their property. Had the court wished to convict them of performing their acts in collusion with foreign individuals or organisations, then the court would have found them in breach of at least Article 106, which states:

    “Article 106. Whoever colludes with institutions, organizations, or individuals outside the country and commits crimes stipulated in Articles 103, 104, and 105 of this chapter are to be heavily punished according to the stipulations in the articles.”

    China remains a country in which, de jure at least, the defendant is innocent until proven guilty. The court did not find either Guo or Liu guilty of breaking Article 106, therefore, in the court’s view, and in the view of PRC law, neither Guo nor Liu were guilty of collusion with foreigners. Likewise, the court did not convict them of Article 110 (1) (joining an espionage organisation or accepting an espionage mission), or Article 111 (stealing state secrets).

    yinyang, please rest assured that I did look over the original copy of the court records to check that the translation was accurate. In my previous employment in patenting with Foxconn and a Japanese law firm that did a lot of business with Chinese associates, I often had to look over Chinese documents. Whilst my reading is on the slow side (I’ve only ever finished two full-length novels in Chinese) my reading ability is not so low that I must rely entirely on the translation.

    Moreover, if you wish to imply that there was some ‘feeling’ in the air at the trials of Guo and Liu which, had you been there, would have allowed you to understand that these men had been acting on foreign orders, this can hardly be credited. The records of the court in any legal system are there for the purpose of allowing others to understand how and why the court reached its decision, and for allowing higher courts to re-examine the decision. Therefore, if it is not written, then it did not form part of the court’s decision. The court was very specific as to what Liu’s actions were:

    “This court believes that defendant Liu Xiaobo, with the intention of overthrowing the state power and socialist system of our country’s people’s democratic dictatorship, used the Internet’s features of rapid transmission of information, broad reach, great social influence, and high degree of public attention, as well as the method of writing and publishing articles on the Internet, to slander and incite others to overthrow our country’s state power and the socialist system. His actions constitute the crime of inciting subversion of state power.”

    The decision of the court in Guo’s case is longer, but it is clear from that decision that “publishing articles online” was one of his actions that constituted subversion. Were Liu and Guo, according to the wording of their convictions, punished for publishing articles online critical of the Chinese government? The answer is yes.

    Now, if you were to ask a different question, if you were to ask me “why are these men in prison when they only did what millions of others have done” then I would have to answer that their convictions were obviously politically motivated, and the decision of the courts in both cases was a sham.

  46. October 13th, 2010 at 08:47 | #46


    You said a lot but did not answer my questions. I’ll repeat from above for the last time:

    Were you at the trials? Did you read the Chinese trial proceedings? Do you know what the evidence the prosecution used?

    You said: “yinyang, please rest assured that I did look over the original copy of the court records to check that the translation was accurate.”

    What does that mean? You read the Chinese trial proceedings or no?

    Ok, we get it. Ideologically you are against the current Chinese government.

    Like I said earlier, tell us something new.

  47. October 13th, 2010 at 10:18 | #47


    “What does that mean? You read the Chinese trial proceedings or no?”

    The answer is, yes I did, I thought that was clear.

    “Ok, we get it. Ideologically you are against the current Chinese government.”

    I have made no secret of my opposition to the Chinese government’s policies in many areas.

    As I said, Liu and Guo’s case shows that, according to the wording of the verdict, it is a crime to publish articles critical of the PRC government on the internet. They are, also according to the letter of the law, innocent of collusion with foreigners. I thought you had accepted this point – was I wrong?

    Of course, the real reason for their imprisonment was political, and have little or nothing to do with the crimes they were imprisoned for, since many others have done as they did.

    This does not mean that, in my view, China’s legal system is entirely illegitimate or arbitrary. In my last job I worked on many Chinese patents, drafting the arguments for overcoming rejections issued by the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office. The monopoly period for a Chinese Patent is 20 years, just as in most other countries, therefore each one of those applications represented, amongst other things, a 20-year bet that, if granted, the patent would be enforced by the Chinese courts. From this point of view, therefore, at least in the eyes of the clients I was working with, China’s legal system in the field of civil enforcement of patent rights is sufficiently reliable. Where it is not reliable, where it is entirely arbitrary, is in politically motivated trials like those of Guo and Liu.

    As I said, I have made no secret that I disapprove of many of the Chinese government’s policies. However, I believe that even if you largely approve of the Chinese government’s policies, the imprisonment of Guo and Liu, whose only crime is to advocate reform of the Chinese political system remains unjust.

    As an example of this injustice, an example of the ‘slander’ (诽谤) in Liu’s writing (the word ‘slander’ is used in the HRIC translation, although in English ‘slander’ refers only to spoken words, not written) given in Liu’s case was as follows:

    “自从中共掌权以来, 中共历代独裁最在乎的是手中的权力, 而最不在乎的是人的生命”

    Which HRIC translates as:

    ““Since the Communist Party of China took power, generations of CPC dictators have cared most about their own power and least about human life”

    It does not matter if you think that Liu’s view in this matter is incorrect, anyone who has lived for any amount of time in China will have heard almost exactly the same thing said by many, many people. Undoubtedly Liu was merely expressing the view of hundreds of millions of Chinese people, and which is written online and spoken in conversation millions of times a day. Even if you disagree with him, in what way can this be judged ‘slander’ worthy of punishment under Article 105 of the PRC criminal code, which exists to prevent subversion? Even if you think it correct for the PRC to criminalise peaceful opposition to the government through Article 105, are statements such as the one quoted worthy of criminalisation?

    Likewise, an example of Liu’s incitement given in the verdict is:


    HRIC’s translation:

    “changing the regime by changing society”

    Once again, even if you disagree with Liu’s views, how can this be called incitement? The only thing that he is saying here is that China’s political system may change through societal change – something which many, many people have suggested, including influential members of the CCP.

  48. October 13th, 2010 at 11:14 | #48


    You said:

    As I said, Liu and Guo’s case shows that, according to the wording of the verdict, it is a crime to publish articles critical of the PRC government on the internet.

    That is clearly not true. Even the verdict statement translation you quoted just above said:

    With respect to the defense argument of defendant Guo Quan and his defense attorneys that Guo Quan’s actions do not constitute a crime because his organization of a party and publication of articles online was the lawful exercise of his constitutional rights to freedom of association and freedom of speech, investigation shows that the rights to freedom of association and freedom of speech are political rights granted to citizens under China’s constitution, but the constitution also clearly stipulates that citizens shall not damage the interests or security of the state in exercising those rights. Defendant Guo Quan employed methods such as illegally organizing the “China New Democracy Party,” publishing articles, recruiting party members, and plotting the “Seven-Day At-Home Revolution” to subvert state power, overthrow the socialist system, and endanger state security. His actions meet the main constitutive criteria for the crime of subversion, and thus this defense argument made by defendant Guo Quan and his defense attorneys cannot be accepted. Therefore, in accordance with Articles 105(1), 55(1), 56(1), and 64 of the PRC Criminal Law, [this court] rules as follows:

    You said:

    They are, also according to the letter of the law, innocent of collusion with foreigners. I thought you had accepted this point – was I wrong?

    Absolutely not. Liu got funding from the NED. You know you’d be foolish to argue against that fact. I agree with you the verdict translation did not specifically mention “NED.” That was all. That’s why I asked you the questions which I won’t repeat anymore.

    Finally, FOARP, look at it another way. We have not had that much exchanges in the past. In our most recent exchange, I said:

    Read my response to Otto above.

    You want me to believe “A thwarted election” about the Tibetan exiles in Nepal electing TGIE officers, about the Dalai Lama, and about India and China trying to influence Nepalese against these activities – have nothing to do with the Dalai Lama, China, and India?

    Very funny indeed.

    This is why the Chinese people are so upset with the Western media – we all can see one way, and the Western media have no shame in describing the absolute opposite. It seems you are well versed in that art along with Otto.

    You will need to argue against the evidence used by the Chinese prosecutors of why the conviction is invalid. I am no longer interested in asking you “tell us something new.”

    You may think this criticism is unfair. In what we are talking about here, it is the same. The Beijing court found Liu going beyond “merely” exercising political speech. I’ve highlighted it above. Now you want us to believe otherwise.

  49. October 13th, 2010 at 11:31 | #49

    More reactions from a blogger here:

    on the nobel peace prize, 2010

    So the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 goes to the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. While an improvement over last year’s award to President Obama, I have some serious reservations about this choice. I believe that whatever positive effects year’s peace prize will have on the cause of democracy in China will be outweighed by the negative effects of reinforcing a very unhealthy and sometimes unfair pattern in China’s relations with the Euro-American west.

    The awarding of the prize to Liu will put enough attention on him as an individual to lessen his personal suffering. The authorities will probably be extra careful about Liu’s personal health, for example, and be less likely to punish his family and relations collectively. Celebrityhood can become a kind of protection, and that is a good thing. Any development that slows down the outrageously heavy blows of law (and non-law) enforcement in China is a good thing. Nevertheless, not only will the publicity and attention fail to budge the Chinese Communist Party at any systemic level, but the way this story plays out in the West does nothing but strengthen the self-satisfied, self-presumed moral superiority of the West. This is a very bad thing, especially when belligerent conservatives are edging toward power in many western nations, including of course in the USA. Look where self-righteousness and certitude got George W. Bush, about 4400 American soldiers, and a couple hundred thousand Iraqis.

    Some of my American leftist friends and acquaintences have jumped right into supporting the cause of freeing Liu Xiaobo. Or at least joining Liu support and protest pages on Facebook. The casual quality of this Facebook “activism” speaks volumes about the problem of superficiality in American activist circles in relation to a political line on China. Without a basic working knowledge of Chinese political history, it is all too easy for Americans to channel their activist impulses into causes based articulated in human rights universalisms.

    The document for which Liu and others got punished is actually pretty good about providing historical context. Being Chinese intellectuals, they are sensitive to the historical challenges that led China down the path it took in the first half of the twentieth century. But the solutions they propose are ahistorical. Do the authors and signatories not understand that the simple prescription of periodic elections, for example, is fraught with the problems and contradictions of political histories and national contexts? There isn’t any such thing as a system that makes use of “periodic elections,” because it is never that simple. Elections, no matter where they occur, are the productions of much debate and compromise within particular political circumstances, and are in very few places completely free of controversies themselves.

    That is only one problem I see with the document. Another problem is the authors’ failure to resolve or even recognize the fundamental contradiction between the desired well-being of the Chinese citizenry–which is supposedly the motivating concern driving this document–and the advocacy of private property rights, including “free and fair markets.” Market logics invalidate all but the individual proprietor as the locus of economic progress. So what is to protect the citizenry as a whole? To call this kind of advocacy naive would be putting it generously.

    Overall, the language of the document, when it comes to its prescriptions, is far too general. As such, it more or less falls into a set of demands that conform to Western democratic ideals, but gives no attention to the manifold problems and ever more acute contradictions that have emerged in every single society that took those ideals as their starting point for a system of governance.

    At the same time, using the language of these ideals leaves aside the more promising analyses of global labor. There are worker movements going on right now in China–young workers in the southern factories, pensioners or former state-owned enterprise workers in the north–that have no meaningful connection to a Western left, but whose fate will have an impact on the economies of the US and scores of other countries. To me, using the (Marxist!) language of labor rather than of individual human rights (“democracy”) is the path with more political potential for a global left, a left that circumvents the prevailing pattern of morally-superior and “democratic” West versus a backward and “totalitarian” China.

    (You can read a translation of the document by Perry Link here.)

    My choice for the prize? If it has to be a jailed dissident, then Leonard Peltier would be the more courageous choice. When using the peace prize to spotlight a Chinese dissident, it’s like that movie Groundhog’s Day–going through a ritual we already know, without any way out. As far as the Nobel committee’s gesture goes, putting the world’s attention on an American activist would take a lot more guts.

  50. rolf
    October 13th, 2010 at 12:10 | #50

    Liu Xiaobo has committed a serious mistake by receiving NED-money. The evidence is obvious and well documented through the links given. His contributions to NED and American imperial interests are obvious, if not, they would not have given him the money. (By the way: He seems not to have got anything in 2005 and 2008).

    New book: Fredrik S. Heffermehl: The Nobel Peace Prize (Praeger, 2010)

    “115 years later Nobel’s approach to peace and security is a more urgent necessity than ever before. The error of the Nobel committee is not in adapting to a modern age, but in failing to understand the point of departure for this exercise. What they should have developed was Nobel’s idea of peace, not their own.” (p. 39)

    The new book, The Nobel Peace Prize (2010), contains, as Part I, a rewriting of a Norwegian book (2008) and in an added Part II the account of methods used by Norway´s political elite to stonewall the strong criticism of their betrayal and corruption of Nobel´s original intent. This makes the new book a case study of democracy and the rule of law in Norway, containing discussions of the 2008 and 2009 Nobel awards, a riveting dissection of the Nobel speech of Obama and explains how the military sector undermines human security and welfare, delivering an illusion of safety at exorbitant cost – an antisocial and antidemocratic element of our societies, pursuing narrow self-interests rather than the real security needs of the nation.

    The Nobel Peace Prize secrets contained in the private diaries of the longest sitting chair of the Nobel committee, Gunnar Jahn – secrets that prove many of the decisions and arguments of the committee manifestly wrong.

    More: http://www.nobelwill.org/http://www.nobelwill.org

  51. October 13th, 2010 at 13:44 | #51


    I’ve been kind of surprised at the twisted logic displayed above. Liu was convicted for subverting the state. Even if you don’t believe he did actually endanger the state, he was convicted for that law. What are you trying to argue?

    If I am convicted for subverting the state for attempting to kill Obama, regardless whether killing Obama is good or bad for the good, I have violated the law. Arguing that killing Obama is actually good and hence the law against assassination of Obama should not be applied is weird…

  52. October 13th, 2010 at 15:30 | #52

    Very simple. The court interpreted Article 105 in a way which criminalises an everyday activity in China – criticising China’s government. The selective application of a law so as to punish someone for political reasons renders such application unjust, the criminalising of harmless everyday activity is unjust, the court therefore behaved in a way which was unjust. The insubstantial weight given to freedom of speech was unjust – if the right to freedom of speech does not cover everyday conversation, then what does it cover?

    @YinYang – As can be seen from the section of Guo Quan’s verdict which you quoted, “publishing articles” is indeed included in Guo Quan’s subversive activities. My statement that, according to the court’s decision, publishing articles online critical of the Chinese government is, in the court’s view, subversion, stands.

    Guo Quan and Liu Xiaobo are innocent of committing subversion of Chinese state authority in collusion with foreigners. This is not my view, this is the view of the Chinese legal system. If things were otherwise, they would have been convicted of breaking Article 106 as well as Article 105. Until either Guo Quan or Liu Xiaobo is found guilty of breaking Article 106 (foreign collusion) this will remain the case.

    Finally, the weight given to freedom of speech promised by the Chinese constitution is so slight that even everyday speech can be interpreted as “slander” or “incitement”. As an example, please tell me what the difference between Liu’s allegedly “slanderous” statements and the recent statements in a letter signed by Li Rui, former secretary to Mao Zedong, which says:




    David Bandurski’s translation:

    “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.

    The letter further says:


    David Bandurski’s translation:

    “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!”



    David Bandurski’s translation:

    “For these matters, if we endeavor to find those responsible, we are utterly incapable of putting our finger on a specific person. [These are] 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?

    As well as:


    David Bandurski’s translation:

    “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. “

    In case you missed it, this letter, reportedly now signed by more than 500 communist party members, accuses the government of breaking the constitution, censoring the Premier, says that censorship is worse than colonial Hong Kong, that China is more than 300 years behind England in terms of freedom of speech, and that China is not a “socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics”. Is this not slander? If this is not slander, why is Liu in jail? Is this is slander, do you think that Li Rui, former secretary to Mao Zedong, should be imprisoned?

    As for “incitement”, the letter calls for the government to abolish laws and various departments, and to get rid of state institutions for control of the media. It also specifically states that online censorship and the “50 cent party” (which some people who have commented here have denied existence of) should be abolished. Is this not incitement? If this is not incitement then why is Liu in jail? Or will we soon see Li Rui arrested and tried?

  53. October 13th, 2010 at 16:00 | #53


    I have no problem with you arguing that the Chinese government should allow more speech. I’d be the first to sign up.

    My problem is with your legal logic. Quoting your most recent post: “The selective application of a law so as to punish someone for political reasons renders such application unjust, the criminalising of harmless everyday activity is unjust, the court therefore behaved in a way which was unjust.”

    Activities are not always criminalized by themselves. Activities are often criminalized because of the harm they cause. Thus pulling the trigger on a gun per se is not criminal, but pulling a trigger of a loaded gun pointed toward a person is criminal.

    Consider also drunk driving. Just because drinking per se is not criminal. Driving while drunk may be. So is the same with speech – or any other activities. Just because some activities may not per se be illegal, the carrying out of an activity to achieve an illegal end may make that activity illegal.

    You may disagree with the sentence Liu got (and I’d probably agree with you – if you see my comments from way back from 2008, you will see that I thought no signatories of Charter 08 should be jailed), but your legal parsing and logic above makes no sense to me.

  54. October 13th, 2010 at 16:33 | #54

    Allen, if the harm caused justified Liu’s conviction, and were what distinguished Liu’s statements from those protected by free speech, then why was no evidence of harm produced? The potential for his statements to cause harm were not even discussed except in the broadest terms.

    For example, a death threat against Liu Xiaobo published on the internet has obvious potential to cause harm in that it may incite someone to kill Liu Xiaobo (something Charles Liu apparently has no problem with). Similarly, to write accusing Liu Xiaobo of being an American spy without having any evidence that this is the case is obviously harmful to Liu Xiaobo’s reputation (again, Charles Liu apparently has no problem with this). The law of England and Wales forbids people to incite others to commit murder, and permits those defamed to seek redress. I understand that the State of California, where you passed the bar, is similar in this respect.

    On the other hand, a mere statement that Liu’s ideas were wrong, or that his conviction was just, has no obvious potential to harm. If I were to accuse someone of incitement to murder Liu Xiaobo through the making of such statements, I would have to show that these statements were capable of inciting someone to murder Liu Xiaobo. Similarly, if I were to accuse someone of libelling Liu Xiaobo based on these statements, I would have to show that the statement was indeed capable of harming Liu Xiaobo’s reputation.

    Liu Xiaobo’s statements quoted in the verdict fall into the second category. They have no obvious potential to cause harm, the court has not said how they could incite anyone to do anything, nor have they said in what way they constitute slander.

    In fact, as I pointed out above, Liu has said nothing that many other Chinese people have said, including high level members of the CCP, as can be seen from the letter signed by Li Rui.

  55. October 13th, 2010 at 17:19 | #55


    We are back to arguing about facts not law. You believe that what Liu did did not cause harm. The Court saw it differently.

    There are many ways to overthrow a government. Sometimes it takes guns, sometimes it requires cannons, armies – sometimes it requires spread of ideologies that creates disorder.

    When communism was a real menace, there were a lot of controls of spread of communist ideologies even here in the U.S.

    Anyways – you and I have argued ad nausea at other times about this. It’s not worth it to repeat here.

    Key point here: I do agree with you that what Liu says is really no big deal. People within the party have entertained his ideas. So have many ordinary Chinese. But that does not mean that Liu should not be convicted in this context. Many people can drink, but that doesn’t prove you can drink and drive. Liu got imprisoned not because he frothed about democracy, but because he preached the overthrow of the Chinese gov’t.

    It is the right of Chinese courts to decide on the facts. If they got the facts wrong, it is in the interest of the Chinese state to review the fact again and release Liu if need be. If they got the facts right, it is in the interest of the Chinese state to make sure Liu serves the entirety of his term – perhaps more as circumstances require.

    I’ll stop here. It really much ado about nothing as far as this thread of argument goes.

  56. October 13th, 2010 at 17:46 | #56

    The difference is that drinking and driving is punished whoever does it. In Liu’s case, his attempt to “overthrow … the Chinese gov’t” is shown by his statements alone, statements that are in actuality not different to those made by millions of Chinese people every day. Yet Liu was imprisoned, but people like Li Rui, who surely said things just as serious as what Liu said, are not.

    As for Liu’s appeal, I hope that the court finds that insufficient weight was given to Liu’s right to free speech in the lower court’s interpretation of Article 105 and overturns the decision of the lower court. However, I don’t believe that this will happen as I believe Liu’s conviction to have been politically motivated. As long as the political reasons for Liu’s imprisonment remain, so will his imprisonment.

    Over and above this, I’m sure that you will agree that the extra-judicial imprisonment of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo’s wife, is not consistent with Liu Xia’s rights under the Chinese constitution, nor with China’s commitments under international law.

  57. October 13th, 2010 at 19:47 | #57


    The difference between what Liu does and what others do is that Liu subverts the state while others didn’t – given the circumstances around the acts.

    Just like I didn’t play play armchair jury in the OJ case, I won’t do so here. I may or may not agree with the court’s decision (just like I may or may not agree with many other decisions here in the U.S. and California), but I don’t see anything out of bound with this case per se.

    As for the “extra-judicial imprisonment” of Liu Xia – we’ll have to see. I personally doubt the “extra-judicial imprisonment” will go on without any sort of the due process. But the temporary detainment of people to ensure public safety – whether you agree with the detainment – is a power that any government has.

  58. October 14th, 2010 at 04:17 | #58

    “given the circumstances around the acts”

    Which are not described. His statements alone were used as evidence of ‘slander’ and ‘incitement’, without any description whatsoever of how they ‘slandered’ anyone or ‘incited’ anyone to do anything. If these statements did slander and were capable of incitement, why was no evidence presented of this?

    “the temporary detainment of people to ensure public safety – whether you agree with the detainment – is a power that any government has.”

    But not without process, and certainly not whilst pretending they are not. Here’s what happened when journalist Melissa Chan, who works for that well-known anti-China western media outlet, Al Jazeera, attempted to speak to Liu Xia:


    Allen, yinyang – I know you guys are committed to supporting most of what the Chinese government does, but surely you can agree that the behaviour of the plain-clothesmen in the above video is wrong.

  59. October 14th, 2010 at 08:00 | #59


    Again you seem to be swinging at air, ranting about nothing.

    Liu did not just preach democracy, he preached democracy to overthrow the government. He did not just drink, he tried to drink and drive. The fact he did not get to drive and kill does not absolve him of anything.

    As for the video, who cut the phone – the journalist and you assume it’s the gov’t. The journalist think the gov’t is playing game. Me thinks the journalist is.

    As for the security guards – my apartment complex here has meaner guards. The ones on the video were quite nice and reasonable. It’s the journalist that is the brat – making a story out of her own incompetence.

  60. October 14th, 2010 at 08:34 | #60

    For everyone’s info:

    Here is a link to a copy of Liu’s sentence (sorry I don’t know how to navigate Chinese Court’s website that well, so here is a copy from sina) – http://news.sina.com.hk/cgi-bin/nw/show.cgi/3/1/1/1373594/1.html.

    Here is a copy of Liu’s appeal notice (again I apologize for not linking directly to the Court’s document): http://www.bullogger.com/blogs/stainlessrat/archives/352867.aspx.

    Let’s see how this plays out.

    Again from my personal perspective – this is a process. Whatever happens to Liu, time will be the ultimate judge. It may be Liu will ultimately be exonerated. It may be that Liu will have more influence from jail than out. It may be what Liu preaches is ultimately in the interest of China.

    Or it may be that jailing Liu is the right thing to do.

    As Wen JiaBao has been quoted to say:

    as the Chinese saying goes, as the Yangtze River forges ahead waves upon waves, the new generation will invariably surpass the old. I have confidence that the future Chinese leadership will excel the previous one. Second, it is the people and the strength of the people that determine the future of the country and history. The wish and will of the people are not stoppable. Those who go along with the trend will thrive, and those who go against the trend will fail.

  61. October 14th, 2010 at 09:14 | #61

    Perhaps you could explain in what way “preaching democracy” and “preaching democracy to overthrow the government” differ in a state in which to preach democracy is to advocate the overthrow of the political system – as is made clear by the verdict of the court.

    I agree with Barry Sautmann, who yinyang quoted approvingly on another page: Liu’s imprisonment is unjust.

    You suggestion that Melissa Chan, a journalist for Al Jazeera, would fake that the phone had been cut off is laughable. Your characterisation of her as an ‘incompetent’ ‘brat’ is not to your credit. As you can clearly see in the video, it is not only security guards who block her entry, but uniformed and plain-clothes police officers, who state quite clearly that they do not care what rights Melissa Chan has to report on the story. It is the officers who state that she must call Liu Xia first, not her, and they do so in the knowledge that the line is cut. I do not think you are arguing in good faith here.

  62. October 14th, 2010 at 10:43 | #62


    I would respectfully disagree with Barry then if he thinks Liu’s imprisonment is unjust. I personally am neutral: I can see either way.

    The difference between preaching democracy for reform and preaching democracy to overthrow the government is that one urges reform through democracy while the other urges overthrow in the name of democracy.

    Read the links I provided in #60 again. The government draws a line of evidence that seeks to show that Liu acted to overthrow the government. Whether one agrees with that line is irrelevant (as I noted in comment #53 above) since I don’t want to play armchair jury. But I am saying that in my opinion, reasonable people can disagree about the meaning of the facts here.

    Regardless of what you believe, the government’s legal theory against Liu is clear: Liu acted to overthrow the government, not that he simply preached democracy. If you want to argue that Liu only advocated democracy for reform as so many others have, and have not crossed the line to preach overthrow, fine. Liu will get his appeals process and his attorney will try to argue that very point (see again link in #60).

    Not sure I’d be interested in continuing this type of argument further.

  63. October 14th, 2010 at 10:57 | #63


    Barry Sautman’s comment is much more nuanced than how FOARP would like us to believe:


    你还不够丢脸吗? 🙂

  64. October 14th, 2010 at 10:59 | #64

    Here is to looking at the issues from an economics perspective. Let’s assume that Liu only preached democracy – like zillion other Chinese and party members – and that he did not do anything to advocate overthrow of the government.

    Why the heck would the government target him but not others?

    This is not a case where blind government action brought injustice to an innocent bystander. This is a case where the government deliberately brought a case against a person it deems a threat to social order.

    What would motivate the government?

    I think the Chinese gov’t would not have acted without a cost and benefit analysis. I don’t think the government would arrest Liu unless the government feels Liu and his acts would threaten Chinese current social political order. It’s not as if the Chinese gov’t has nothing else to do.

    The ultimate issue here then is the politics. In the government’s mind, Liu advocated destabilization of the current social political order. Liu is imprisioned because the government feels that will reduce the threat to current social political order. Do you believe in the Chinese government’s sovereign right to keep the peace, to govern?

  65. October 14th, 2010 at 11:04 | #65

    @YinYang #63,

    Now I re-read, I don’t see how any sane person could have concluded that Barry stated that Liu’s imprisonment was unjust.

  66. October 14th, 2010 at 11:24 | #66


    To be honest, I cannot argue with you any more. There is simply no point. When you interpret a conviction to include things that it did not include, when you fail to see that Barry clearly said that he thought that Liu’s imprisonment was unnecessary and that all unnecessary imprisonment are unjust, when you call a man a foreign agent when even the PRC authorities have not brought charges against him for foreign collusion, this shows that you are not arguing in good faith.

    @Allen – At least we agree that the conviction was politically motivated. However, I hope you will reflect on your previous comment regarding Melissa Chan’s report.

    Good day.

  67. October 14th, 2010 at 11:37 | #67

    @FOARP #66,

    Yes I concede the imprisonment of Liu is politically motivated – not in the sense that it is about petty politics – but in the sense that it is done to preserve social order, the ability of the state to govern, etc. Liu is convicted for state subversion – which by definition (in the second sense I just described) – is about politics.

    And about Melissa Chan. I take back some of what I wrote. I have no axe to grind against her at all. But the fact one can’t reach someone doesn’t show travesty. You just got to try harder. To my eyes, this is just sensationalist reporting, making a story out of an unproductive day.

    Good day, too.

  68. Guest
    October 14th, 2010 at 22:07 | #68

    Just some experiences from a common citizen…

    Leftry Huang – Buzz – Public – Muted




    大概说一些关于我的事:我的名字叫做 黄雅玲,是四川人,现在在成都工作。我在twitter上的id是leftry,另外还有一个喜欢使用的网名,叫做“温暖透明”。





    找到挪威馆之后,在花束里的卡片上正反两面分别写了“I love Norway!For Nobel peace prize For LiuXiaoBo!via @leftry“和”言者无罪! 释放刘晓波!“


    进去之后就更开心了,他们跟我介绍说这位是我们的馆长,然后就跟好大的一只手握手了。其实好像好多人都跟我握手了,现在也记不清楚了,反正一群像大树一样高大的人围着我。。。我结结巴巴的跟馆长说我想把花送给挪威,为了感谢诺贝尔和平奖发给刘晓波先生。馆长先生又跟我握手还说”thank you“并接过了花,然后翻看了花束里的卡片。这时候我就跟他说想和他,还有这花儿一起合影,于是就有了现在在网上流传的那张照片。之后似乎是馆长示意我可以参观挪威馆吧,我还不敢相信有这么好的事呢,又跟工作人员确定了一遍。














    P 去世博会了吧? L 去啦。
    P 去哪个馆啦? L 挪威,还有丹麦。别的馆人太多我就没去排队。
    P 有什么印象深刻的事吗? L 小美人鱼!(我这还真不是胡搅,第一反应就是她,在全世界的光芒面前,她的美都不会逊色。)
    P 还有呢? L 挪威馆的冰,还有神秘园
    P 神秘园?(估计是无意识反问) L 哎呀神秘园你不知道啊巴拉巴拉巴拉…被打断P 我怎么不知道神秘园了没问你这个
    P 还有什么,印象特别深刻的,特别值得你回味的 L 啊!我看到挪威馆的馆长了!馆长好帅呀好像电影明星!
    P 你都结婚了还看人家外国人长得帅(一股鄙视崇洋媚外女的酸气扑鼻而来)【两个人自己还争起来,其中一个说这是我老公的问题他们不管】
    【他们不管我要管】 L 看到长得帅的人欣赏一下不行啊我老公也可以看外国美女漂亮啊你看到漂亮美女不多看两眼啊(瞪着那个年轻的越说越急声音慢慢变高)
    P 我还没结婚呢当然可以看美女
    P 馆长怎么样了呢?你知道我们问你什么配合点
    L 我给馆长献花了
    P 馆长呢?
    L 收下了呀
    P 馆长叫什么名字?
    L 不知道啊,哎呀就是啊我都没有问人家名字好后悔哦你知不知道馆长的名字【被打断“我怎么知道馆长叫什么名字”】
    P 你献花馆长就收啊? L 嗯,我长得漂亮呗
    P 你长得漂亮去找外国人过啊 (估计又被我激怒了,或是想激怒我?)L (忘了怎么回答的,反正是鄙视了他一下)【反正话题差点又就此岔开。。】
    P 你献花说什么了? L 我爱挪威,我把这花送给挪威
    P 【各种不满意】你为什么要送花给挪威? L 我喜欢挪威啊
    P 喜欢挪威就要送花给挪威? L 那还能怎么样呢?
    P 为什么喜欢挪威? L (深吸一口气开始眼睛里冒星星) 你知不知道挪威的森林?
    P 我又没去过挪威怎么知道他那里的森林什么样的
    L (又开始发急)不是不是我是说那首歌嘛后来……
    L 【我真的打算配合他们了】好的我不扯了配合你们,就是想知道我为什么到挪威馆去献花嘛,我现在坦诚的跟你们说一下,不过我有个要求,可以再看一下你们的证件吗?
    L 我真的不是胡搅蛮缠我打算跟你们好好说,但是在那之前我想知道你们的名字,刚才出示证件的时候我真的没有看清楚,要不然我跟你们握个手嘛握完手我就好好说
    P 这跟证件有什么关系你还是不配合要不要我们去把传唤证拿来
    L 我没有不配合,就是需要一个仪式,话都在嘴边了但没有一个仪式说不出来,人家馆长都跟我握手了你们不跟我握手,人和人见面的时候不是要讲一个礼貌的吗握手又怎么了不就是打个招呼吗一开始我们就应该握手的嘛……
    P 一开始你不配合
    L 谁让你们一开始那么凶的。好不好嘛握手嘛,握手完了我就慢慢讲。
    P 我们是来工作的不是来跟你握手的,谈完了做了记录自然会跟你握手
    L 哎呀我真的很想跟你们握手啊,我第一次有人找我来喝茶握个手纪念一下嘛
    P 什么喝茶你不要看网上的那一套,我们是来找你了解情况
    L 那就是“第一次有人不是因为工作的关系来找我说很多话”,你看我每次出差都是我去求着人家跟我说话,握手嘛握手嘛
    P 你配合一点赶快回答问题
    L 那跟你们其中一位握手好不好
    P 不好,你快说为什么到挪威馆献花
    L 【喝水,嘟嘟囔囔说他们不懂礼貌】因为诺贝尔和平奖
    P 和平奖怎么了
    L 高兴啊,你们不高兴吗?【又抬起头来盯着他们看】(我想问的是和平奖发给中国人你们不高兴吗?)
    P 我们是工作,说不上高兴不高兴,高兴就到挪威馆献花啊
    L 我感谢诺贝尔和平奖发给刘晓波
    P 你还知道刘晓波啊,从哪里知道的?
    L 人民日报啊,人民日报不是说抓住刘晓波的黑手吗?(其实我没有看过的说。。。。)
    P 哪里看到的人民日报?不是现在的报纸吧?多大你就看人民日报啦
    L 办公室桌上摊着的嘛
    P 小时候你就有办公室不是胡扯吗
    L 我又没说是我办公室,小孩不得上学吗老师办公室里摊着的我看见啦(我确实在跟他们胡扯)
    P 看人民日报?看二十多年?
    L 啊呸啊谁看二十多年人民日报不要吐死了
    P 看到刘晓波,觉得是偶像是吧?
    L 什么偶像啊,那会觉得他够呛,大麻烦了(其实那会我只对发生的事隐隐约约有点印象,真没看过人民日报,也不知道刘晓波)
    P 光看人民日报知道刘晓波?
    L 还有新闻联播啊,新闻联播不也说他了吗
    P 你怎么知道和平奖的?
    L 发奖那天人家诺贝尔官网不是现场直播了吗我看了直播知道的
    P 看了直播知道的。那你为什么要到挪威馆去献花?
    L 怎么又问回来了?我感谢诺贝尔和平奖发给刘晓波啊
    P 感谢发给刘晓波就去挪威馆献花啊,你为什么要去献花

































    2010-10-15 02:52 完成(第二天又检查了一遍,希望没有错别字什么的了)

  69. ltlee1
    October 21st, 2010 at 18:40 | #69


    Different judicial tradition between China and the west.
    In China, it is the prosecutor’s job to show that some one had
    done A, B, C, and D. And if so, they add up to V.

    If the judge does not like the conclusion that A, B, C, and D add
    up to V. There will be no case. If he agrees, then his job is to see
    whether some one had indeed done A, B, C, and D as claimed.
    If so, V is more or less automatic. The judge put himself between
    the prosecutor and the accused at this stage. He cannot change the
    verdict except under special circumstances.

    Hence, the verdict does not say anything about foreign sponsorship
    does not necessarily mean it was not part of the case. To decide that.
    one needs to read the prosecutor’s statement.

  70. Wahaha
    May 20th, 2011 at 17:20 | #70



    Does it include purposely farting in an elevator ?

    Does it include pooping in front of other people’s door ?

  71. Wahaha
    May 20th, 2011 at 17:28 | #71

    About 言论自由 :

    In China, governmen controls information, therefore it is against 言论自由 if you are not allowed to say something the government doesnt like.

    In West, government has no control of information, therefore it is stupid and naive to claim you have freedom of speech simply because you can bash government.

    In West, it is the rich, media and journalists who control the information. So if you claim you have freedom of speech in West, please answer the following question :


    I know what happened when I did it : my comments were censored, LOT OF TIMES.

    Recently, I posted a question and was censored :

    When US marine broke the levee, it destoryed thousands of houses and lands without owner’s consents. (and judge refused to take the case.)

    Was it against human right ?

  72. Wahaha
    May 20th, 2011 at 17:35 | #72

    About LXB’s case :

    It is very simple, do you think he had tried to mess up with China and Chinese people for his own political agenda ?

    Please dont throw around 言论自由. Media, journalists and activitists have far more influence than an ordinary person, even more than a great scientist. They can do good thing with their influence, they can also do bad things.

    When they do bad things, they can do far more damage and harm to people and society than drug dealer, and they already have messed up with USA.

    BTW, does anyone know the situation now in egypt ? quite weird, suddenly no media talks about egypt anymore.

  73. Charles Liu
    May 23rd, 2011 at 11:17 | #73

    Exactely, 言论自由, freedome of speech, esepcially political speech affecting a nation’s soverign independence, can be limited by law.

    Just as US has law prohibiting foreign sponsorship of domestic politics, China has the sovereign right to regulate such activity thru it’s subversion law. Liu Xiaobo’s political speech was supported and underwritten by foreign power, more specifically by the US government via the NED, and the Chinese government has every right to sanction such activity (which would be rightly illegal in the United States.)

  74. raventhorn2000
    August 18th, 2011 at 06:41 | #74

    Returning to Liu’s conviction and the court Verdict.

    I read through the English translation (and I will probably read the Chinese version to get the detail nuances), but the legal theories of prosecution and defense were pretty cut and dry (even if the non-lawyers can’t understand it).

    (1) Liu was accused of inciting overthrow of the Chinese government (in his writings disseminated to others in China and petition Charter’s signature drive).

    (2) Liu’s defense was based upon the theory that he was merely exercising his right as a Chinese citizen to “free speech” and his own opinions. NOTE: Liu did not deny that he wrote those documents and sent them for signature drive.

    (3) Prosecution, as counter evidence, showed that Liu (through his wife) was receiving money from outside of China, and Liu was using non-monetary resources (such as computer servers) from outside of China (tied to outlawed organization FLG). This occurred around the same time as when Liu was disseminating his writing and his charter, and Liu used the computer servers for his activities in question.

    (4) Liu and his wife do not deny Prosecution’s evidence of outside support, nor do they challenge it (nor offer any alternative theories of uses of these money and resources, such as offerring of theory that Liu perhaps earned the money from outside of China for something UNRELATED.)

    (5) evidence concludes.

    (6) Court finds that Liu’s defense theory that his writing were merely his own speech and his own opinions are not credible in view of prosecution evidence of outside support, ie. Liu was PAID by foreign sources to disseminate specific writings for specific agenda (which called for overthrow of the Chinese government).

  75. raventhorn2000
    August 18th, 2011 at 07:18 | #75

    As to some people’s dissection of the verdict and making claims that it had nothing to do with foreign funding:

    (1) it obviously did, because it was presented as relevant evidence, and it goes to show motive of Liu’s actions. (Remember, criminal charges require showing of INTENT, (latin: mens rea)).

    (2) some argued that Articles 106 and 107 of Chinese Criminal law, which specifically deal with receiving foreign aid, were not mentioned in the Verdict for Liu, while article 105 was.

    “Article 105 Among those who organize, plot or carry out the scheme of subverting the State power or overthrowing the socialist system, the ringleaders and the others who commit major crimes shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or fixed-term imprisonment of not less than 10 years; the ones who take an active part in it shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years; and the other participants shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention, public surveillance or deprivation of political rights.

    Whoever incites others by spreading rumors or slanders or any other means to subvert the State power or overthrow the socialist system shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance or deprivation of political rights; and the ringleaders and the others who commit major crimes shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years.

    Article 106 Whoever commits the crime as prescribed in Article 103, 104 or 105 of this Chapter in collusion with any organ, organization or individual outside the territory of China shall be given a heavier punishment according to the provisions stipulated in these Articles respectively.

    Article 107 Where an organ, organization or individual inside or outside of the territory of China provides funds to any organization or individual within the territory of China to commit the crime as prescribed in Article 102, 103, 104 or 105, the person who is directly responsible for the crime shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance or deprivation of political rights; if the circumstances are serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years.”

    NOTE: Article 107 sentences are around 5 years, whereas Article 105 carries a sentence of NO LESS than 10 years (for ring leader). Liu was sentenced to 11 years.

    Article 106 merely stipulates that commission of Article 105 with “collusion” with foreign organization shall carry a heavier sentence.

    As such, both Article 106 and 107 are at best be considered general sentencing guideline criminal codes (and they are at the Court’s discretion whether to apply them during sentencing, if facts are sufficient. Thus, their use or NOT use by the court is not evidence of whether “collusion” was a factor in the crime).

  76. Charles Liu
    August 18th, 2011 at 14:41 | #76

    The verdict document stated Liu Xiaobo openend the Bank of China account using his wife’s name, where payments from abroad for his articles were deposited:

    “劉曉波在銀行以她的名字開戶,稿費不定期的匯到帳戶裏… 帳戶接收和支取過境外匯款”

    Also, according to legal experts in China, Liu’s subversion case would’be yeilded the same result in US. Even based on words alone, according to Schenck vs United States, political speech can be reasonably limited if the government deems it “clear and present danger”.

    Similar to Schenck, the Chinese government has the right to deem Liu’s call to abolish China’s constitution, at the sponsorship of foreign entity, as exceeding the limit of free speech.

    Not to mention the act of carrying out the threat in collusion with foreign entities that are hostile to the Chinese government (when legally only the NPC has the authority to amend the constitution: 修宪权属于我国的最高权力机关,即全国人民代表大会).

  77. August 18th, 2011 at 16:50 | #77

    Of course,

    it’s plain to see, if one reads the verdict.

    Unfortunately, some people make all kinds of conclusions about the verdict without actually reading it.

  78. Al
    August 18th, 2011 at 17:47 | #78

    Unfortunately I think it’s not a matter of reading or not reading the verdict…it’s simply a matter of intellectual honesty and maturity in accepting the simple fact that one’s own analysis and ideas on the issue are simply wrong and devoid of any legal and factual basis, and to be adult enough to admit to have blundered all along cause of one’s own political and ideological prejudice, and of the plain inability to overcome them even for a moment….All “qualities” that, unfortunately, Custer in all evidence lacks completely.

  79. raventhorn2000
    August 25th, 2011 at 14:58 | #79

    Under the current UK legal framework of prosecuting Riot Inciters (Remote inciters on Social Media) by using Article 44 of Serious Crimes Act 2007, the legal theory of prosecution is either “Conspiracy”, or “Solicitation”.

    Under common law of UK, (1) Conspiracy is defined generally as “Do it WITH me”, and (2) Solicitation is defined generally as “Do it FOR me”.

    Now, given that the young UK offenders generally were communicating through general POSTINGS such as on Facebook, they were not actually receiving any feedbacks of consent from a public. Their communications are more general “broadcasts”.

    As such, the Conspiracy and Solicitation legal theories are very stretchy by logic at best. (But still, there is the argument that during a time of general social chaos, even general broadcasts might lead to violence, and thus is some form of 1-way Conspiracy and solicitation that does not really need any confirmation from fellow conspirators. Ie. if the Mob is already there in front of you, you don’t need the mob to specifically answer your call of violence).

    But this also leads to a 2nd possible legal theory in Liu’s verdict, because the court verdict also specifically mentioned that Liu “colluded” with fellow defendants in China in spreading the Charter 08.

    Article 105, under which Liu was convicted, also has a provision for “organizing” illegal activities that violates National Security.

    Thus, PART of the verdict for Liu may be referring to a similar “Conspiracy” charge of “DO it WITH me”, since it is clear that Liu was, at least, urging others to participate in what he was doing, and may have assisted others in attempts to bypass Chinese laws (ie. using foreign servers to distribute their message).

    Also at least, Liu was not merely broadcasting a message, he was actively conspiring and soliciting with his fellow defendants 1-on-1 in personal interactions. (As such, there is far more evidence of specific intent of criminal conspiracy).

  80. raventhorn2000
    August 26th, 2011 at 11:19 | #80

    As I analyze the Chinese criminal code further, I believe that Article 105 may have been drafted to contain elements of Conspiracy and Solicitation in its “incitement” legal terms in meaning.

    scanning through the entirety of the Chinese criminal code, it is clear that criminal conspiracy and solicitation is not defined separately on its own, (section 2 does contain definitions on criminal ATTEMPT charges, but not conspiracy and solicitation).

    Thus, it is highly probable from the language of the individual articles that Conspiracy and Solicitation were written into the specific offenses.

    Article 105 appears to describe criminal conspiracy and solicitation in “Whoever incites others by spreading rumors or slanders or any other means”.

    Some Western legal scholars have interpreted the “rumors and slanders” to equate to the Civil liability of “defamation” in Western legal codes. However, this is erroneous. Article 105 describes “incitement by rumor or slander or any other means”, the key is not elements of “slander”/defamation in the crime, but rather the intended/foreseeable EFFECT of the slander/rumor to “incite”.

    Speech to “incite”, at least similarly written in the UK Serious Crimes Act, is considered Conspiracy and Solicitation.

    Additional, Court verdict in Liu’s case clearly showed, that there was little to no effort to prove the actual “falsity” of Liu’s writings. Thus, “slander”, “rumor”, ie. the FALSE representation element is absent in the factual finding.

    Rather, it was the “any other means” in Article 105, which was intended to cover all speech, that has the intended effect of “incitement” to foreseeable effect.

    Hence, Article 105 should be read as similar to Criminal Conspiracy and solicitation, as similarly written in Article 44 of Serious Crimes Act 2007 of UK.

    (Granted, some revision in the future for Article 105 may clarify the matter further, at least for Western legal scholars).

  81. raventhorn2000
    August 27th, 2011 at 13:07 | #81

    From the way that UK has handled its recent riot related “incitement charges”, it is worth drawing a parallel again as a matter of legal education.

    Far too often, Western citizens are under the erroneous assumptions about the “freedom of speech” concept in their own legal systems. And the matter of “incitement” as criminal Conspiracy and Solicitation is an obvious example of the gap between their perceptions of their own laws, vs. what they actually are.

    (1) In US and UK for example, the crime of Conspiracy does not actually require an individual to do something criminal, but merely require that his action/speech may lead to, given aid, directions, instructions, commands, etc., to a criminal act.

    Most Westerners are under the misconception that the “Brandenburg” factors as in US requires that any speech punished must pose “imminent incitement”.

    However, the Brandenburg factors ONLY apply to speech of “advocacy”, that is speech that ONLY intended to influence belief, NOT conduct.

    When speech takes the form of advocacy–that is, when it appears to be expressed for the purpose of influencing beliefs–the imminent-incitement test is justified as a means to separate abstract expression of ideas from speech likely to cause injury. The same imminence requirement does not necessarily apply to speech intended to facilitate the commission of a crime in a concrete way by, for example, performing a teaching or instructional function.

    For example, if a man Conspires with another to formulate plans to rob banks, his “plans” are not speech of advocacy as stipulated by Brandenburg. But rather his “plans” which he communicated and formulated with his co-conspirators, are speech intended to influence and prepare for criminal conduct. (THIS type of speech is clearly NOT protected by 1st amendment, and not under the Brandenburg factors, EVENIF the criminal “plans” to rob a bank is not “imminent likely” to result in a crime.)

    Among the most well known speech-based aiding and abetting cases is Rice v. Paladin Enterprises, Inc., in which relatives of a murder victim brought a wrongful death action against the publisher of Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors because it gave “detailed factual instructions on how to murder and to become a professional killer” and allegedly incited the actual murder.

    Clearly, the “murder instruction” book published was not a form of “advocacy”, (even if one might argue that it could be advocating a “lifestyle”, but all crimes can be considered a “lifestyle”).

    Another US case, The prosecution of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman further illustrates. Sheik Abdel Rahman, an Islamic scholar and cleric, was convicted for actions arising out of a wide-ranging plot to conduct a campaign of urban terrorism. The conviction rested substantially on sermons and discussions whereby Abdel Rahman instructed his followers to plan for violent criminal activity. On appeal, his lawyers argued that he was improperly convicted based on the inflammatory content of his speech and for his religious beliefs, both of which should have been protected under the First Amendment. In rejecting this argument and upholding the conviction, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit pointed out that freedom of speech and religion do not extend so far as to bar prosecution of one who uses a public speech or a religious ministry to commit crimes.


    (EVEN if arguably, his sermons were not “imminently likely” to result in any crimes, they are still “instructions”/commands to conduct crimes, which falls Squarely in Criminal Conspiracy and Solicitation).

    (2) In the case of Liu Xiaobo, the charge under Article 105 2nd paragraph, is similar to the elements of Criminal Conspiracy in US and UK.

    While Article 105 1st paragraph is directed at he who “organizes, plots…” seem to direct to the MAIN substantive crimes of violating national security, the 2nd Paragraph by comparison, directed at he who “INCITE others”, thus seem to direct to the Conspiracy and Solicitations related the MAIN substantive crimes.

    *one part of available English translation of Liu’s verdict rather simplified some portions of the Chinese version, “试图煽动颠覆现政权”, was simply translated into “other incitements”, in reality, it is closer to “attempted to incite and subvert the current government authority to rule.”

    While some may argue that the substance of Liu’s speech was advocacy, but it can also be interpreted as formulating a “PLAN” to subvert or directly challenge the existing government.

    *Note: Political doctrinal advocacies happens legally in China all the time. Chinese criminal law system thus appears to draw the line between “advocacy” and “conspiracy” at when a person uses illegal means, such as foreign help, or citing domestic disturbances as implicit or explicit threats of violence.

    As also can be seen in UK riot, whether or not something is explicit or implicit incitement, depends on the context of time, such as in a riot, or a general state of social chaos.

  82. raventhorn2000
    August 27th, 2011 at 13:18 | #82

    I should further note,

    Many Western legal “scholars” who interpreted Liu’s court verdict and relevant Chinese laws, seemed to have forgotten their own legal histories:

    The Chinese laws Article 105 is different from US laws in that it ingrained elements of Conspiracy and Solicitation into the substantive criminal laws, and not as separate articles/sections as in most US states.

    However, US laws USED to have similar type of a system, until the Model Penal Code (MPC) was developed in 1962, and later slowly adopted by US states.

    Before the adoption of MPC type criminal codes, MOST US states listed Conspiracy and Solicitation in the same paragraphs as the underlying substantive laws, ie. there are specific paragraphs for conspiracy or solicitation after say a 1st degree murder paragraph.

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