December 28, 1955 |
|Alma mater||"Jilin University
"Beijing Normal University
"University of Oslo
"University of Hawaii
|Occupation||Writer, political commentator, "human rights activist|
|Spouse(s)||"Liu Xia (m. 1996)|
|Awards||"2010 Nobel Peace Prize
Liu Xiaobo ("Chinese: 刘晓波; "pinyin: Liú Xiǎobō) (born 28 December 1955) is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of "communist "single-party rule. He is currently incarcerated as a "political prisoner in "Jinzhou, "Liaoning.
Liu served as the President of the Independent Chinese "PEN Center, from 2003 to 2007. He was also the president of Minzhu Zhongguo (Democratic China) magazine since the mid-1990s. On 8 December 2008, Liu was detained due to his participation with the "Charter 08 manifesto. He was formally arrested on 23 June 2009 on suspicion of ""inciting subversion of state power". He was tried on the same charges on 23 December 2009, and sentenced to eleven years' imprisonment and two years' deprivation of political rights on 25 December 2009.
During his fourth prison term, Liu was awarded the "2010 Nobel Peace Prize for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." He is the first "Chinese citizen to be awarded a Nobel Prize of any kind while residing in China. Liu is the third person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison or detention, after Germany's "Carl von Ossietzky (1935) and Burma's "Aung San Suu Kyi (1991). Liu is also the second person (the first being Ossietzky) to be denied the right to have a representative collect the Nobel prize for him.
Liu was born in "Changchun, "Jilin, in 1955 to an intellectual family. In 1969, during the "Down to the Countryside Movement, Liu's father took him to "Horqin Right Front Banner, Inner Mongolia. After he finished middle school in 1974, he was sent to the countryside to work on a farm in Jilin.
In 1977, Liu was admitted to the Department of Chinese Literature at "Jilin University, where he created a poetry group known as "The Innocent Hearts" (Chi Zi Xin) with six schoolmates. In 1982, he graduated with BA in literature before being admitted as a research student at the Department of Chinese Literature at "Beijing Normal University, where he received an MA in literature in 1984 and started teaching as a lecturer thereafter. That year, he married Tao Li, with whom he had a son named Liu Tao in 1985.
In 1986, Liu started his doctoral study program and published his literary critiques in various magazines. He became well known as a "dark horse" for his radical opinions and sharp comments on the official doctrines and establishments. This shocked both of the literary and ideological circles, thus termed as "Liu Xiaobo Shock" or "Liu Xiaobo Phenomenon". In 1987, his first book, Criticism of the Choice: Dialogues with Li Zehou, was published and became a bestseller non-fiction. It comprehensively criticised the Chinese tradition of "Confucianism and posed a frank challenge to "Li Zehou, a rising ideological star who had a strong influence on young intellectuals in China at the time.
In June 1988, Liu received a PhD in literature. His doctoral thesis, Aesthetic and Human Freedom, passed the examination unanimously and was published as his second book. In the same year he became a lecturer at the same department. He soon became a visiting scholar at several universities, including "Columbia University, the "University of Oslo, and the "University of Hawaii. He returned home as the "1989 Tiananmen Square protests broke out. This year saw also the publication of his third book, The Fog of Metaphysics, a comprehensive review on Western philosophies. Soon, all of his works were banned.["citation needed]
In a 1988 interview with Hong Kong's Liberation Monthly (now known as Open Magazine), Liu was asked what it would take for China to realize a true historical transformation. He replied:
"[It would take] 300 years of "colonialism. In 100 years of colonialism, "Hong Kong has changed to what we see today. With China being so big, of course it would require 300 years as a colony for it to be able to transform into how Hong Kong is today. I have my doubts as to whether 300 years would be enough."
Liu admitted in 2006 that the response was extemporaneous, although he did not intend to take it back, as it represented "an extreme expression of his longheld belief." The quote was nonetheless used against him. He has commented, "Even today [in 2006], radical patriotic '"angry youth' still frequently use these words to paint me with '"treason'."
Known for his pro-West stance, Liu once stated in an interview: "Modernization means whole-sale westernization, choosing a human life is choosing Western way of life. Difference between Western and Chinese governing system is humane vs in-humane, there's no middle ground... Westernization is not a choice of a nation, but a choice for the human race" 
During the "1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Liu was in the "United States but decided to return to China to join the movement. He was later named as one of the "four "junzis of Tiananmen Square" for persuading students to leave the square and thus saving hundreds of lives.
In an article in the "New York Review of Books, Simon Leys wrote that Liu Xiaobo's perception of the West and its relationship to a modernizing China evolved during his travels in the United States and Europe in the 1980s.
"During a visit to the "Metropolitan Museum in "New York, he experienced a sort of epiphany that crystallized the turmoil of his latest self-questioning: he realized the shallowness of his own learning in the light of the fabulous riches of the diverse civilizations of the past, and simultaneously perceived the inadequacy of contemporary Western answers to mankind’s modern predicament. His own dream that Westernization could be used to reform China suddenly appeared to him as pathetic as the attitude of 'a paraplegic laughing at a quadriplegic,' he confessed at the time:
'My tendency to idealize Western civilization arises from my nationalistic desire to use the West in order to reform China. But this has led me to overlook the flaws of Western culture.... I have been obsequious toward Western civilization, exaggerating its merits, and at the same time exaggerating my own merits. I have viewed the West as if it were not only the salvation of China but also the natural and ultimate destination of all humanity. Moreover I have used this delusional idealism to assign myself the role of savior.... I now realize that Western civilization, while it can be useful in reforming China in its present stage, cannot save humanity in an overall sense. If we stand back from Western civilization for a moment, we can see that it possesses all the flaws of humanity in general....If I, as a person who has lived under China’s autocratic system for more than thirty years, want to reflect on the fate of humanity or how to be an authentic person, I have no choice but to carry out two critiques simultaneously. I must: 1. Use Western civilization as a tool to critique China. 2. Use my own creativity to critique the West.'"
In his 1996 article entitled "Lessons from the Cold War", Liu argues that "The free world led by the US fought almost all regimes that trampled on human rights ... The major wars that the US became involved in are all ethically defensible." He has defended U.S. policies in the "Israeli–Palestinian conflict, which he thinks is the fault of the "provocateur" Palestinians.
Liu also published a 2004 article in support of Bush's war on Iraq, titled "Victory to the Anglo-American Freedom Alliance", in which he praised the U.S.-led post-"Cold War conflicts as "best examples of how war should be conducted in a modern civilization." He predicted "a free, democratic and peaceful Iraq will emerge." During the 2004 US presidential election, Liu again praised Bush for his war effort against Iraq and condemned Democratic Party candidate "John Kerry for not sufficiently supporting the wars in which the U.S. was then involved. He commented on "Islamism that, "a culture and (religious) system that produced this kind of threat ("Islamic fundamentalism), must be extremely intolerant and blood-thirsty." On "Israel, he said "without America's protection, the long persecuted Jews who faced extermination during "World War II, probably would again be drowned by the Islamic world's hatred."
On 27 April 1989, Liu stayed in "Beijing and immediately and actively supported the popular movement. When an army looked set to violently eject the students who persistently occupied the square to challenge the government and army enforcing martial law in Tiananmen Square, he initiated a four-man three-day "hunger strike on 2 June. Later referred to as the "Tiananmen Four Gentlemen Hunger Strike", the action earned the trust of the students. He requested that the government and the students abandon the ideology of class struggle and adopt a new kind of political culture of dialogue and compromise. Although it was too late to prevent the massacre from occurring beyond the square starting from the night of 3 June, he and his colleagues successfully negotiated with the student leaders and the army commander to let all the several thousand students withdraw peacefully from the Square, thus avoiding a possibly much larger scale of bloodshed.["citation needed]
On 5 June, Liu was arrested and detained in "Qincheng Prison for his alleged role in the movement, and three months later was expelled from Beijing Normal University. The government's media issued numerous publications which labeled him a "mad dog" and "black hand" because he had allegedly incited and manipulated the student movement to overthrow the government and socialism. His publications were banned, including his fourth book in press, Going Naked Toward God. In Taiwan however, his first and third books, Criticism of the Choice: Dialogues with Leading Thinker Li Zehou (1989), and the two-volume Mysteries of Thought and Dreams of Mankind (1990) were republished with some additions.["citation needed]
In January 1991, 19 months since his arrest, Liu Xiaobo was convicted for the offense of "counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement" but exempted from criminal punishment for his "major meritorious action" for having avoided the possible bloody confrontation in Tiananmen Square. After his release, he was divorced and eventually his ex-wife and son immigrated to the US. He resumed his writing, mostly on human rights and political issues though he has not been allowed to publish in Mainland China. In 1992, in Taiwan, he published his first book after his imprisonment, The Monologues of a Doomsday's Survivor, a controversial memoir with his confessions and political criticism on the popular movement in 1989.
In January 1993, Liu was invited to visit "Australia and the USA for the interviews in the documentary film Gate of Heavenly Peace. Although many of his friends suggested that he take refuge abroad, Liu returned to China in May 1993 and continued his freelance writing.["citation needed]
On 18 May 1995, the police took Liu into custody for launching a petition campaign on the eve of the sixth anniversary of 4 June massacre, calling on the government to reassess the event and to initiate political reform. He was held under residential surveillance in the suburbs of Beijing for 9 months. He was released in February 1996 but arrested again on 8 October for an October Tenth Declaration, co-authored by him and another prominent dissident Wang Xizhe, mainly on the "Taiwan issue that advocated a peaceful reunification in order to oppose the Chinese Communist Party's forceful threats towards the island. He was ordered to serve three years of "re-education through labor "for disturbing public order” for that statement.
In 1996 at the labor camp, Liu married "Liu Xia. Because she is the only person from the outside who can visit him in prison, she has been called his "most important link to the outside world."
After his release on 7 October 1999, Liu Xiaobo resumed his freelance writing. However, it is reported that the government built a sentry station next to his home and his phone calls and internet connections were tapped.
In 2000, Liu published in Taiwan the book A Nation That Lies to Conscience, a 400-paged political criticism. Also published, in Hong Kong, was Selection of Poems, a 450-paged collection of the poems as correspondences between him and his wife during his imprisonment; it was co-authored by Liu and his wife. The last of three books which he published during the year was in Mainland China, titled The Beauty Offers Me Drug: Literary Dialogues between Wang Shuo and Lao Xia, a 250-paged collection of literary critiques co-authored by a popular young writer and by himself under his unknown penname of "Lao Xiao". In the same year, Liu participated in founding the Independent Chinese PEN Centre and was elected to its board of directors as well as its president in November 2003, re-elected two years later. In 2007, he did not seek for the re-election of the president but held his position of the board member until detained by the police in December 2008.
In 2003, when he started to write a Human Rights Report of China at home, Liu's computer, letters and documents were confiscated by the government. He once said, "at Liu Xia's [Liu's wife] birthday, her best friend brought two bottles of wine to [my home] but was blocked by the police from coming in. I ordered a [birthday] cake and the police also rejected the man who delivered the cake to us. I quarreled with them and the police said, "it is for the sake of your security. It has happened many bomb attacks in these days." Those measures were loosened until 2007, prior to the "2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
In January 2005, following the death of former Chinese Premier "Zhao Ziyang, who showed sympathy to protesters of the student demonstration in 1989, Liu was immediately put under house arrest for two weeks before realizing the death of Zhao. In the same year, he published two more books in the US, The Future of Free China Exists in Civil Society, and Single-Blade Poisonous Sword: Criticism of Chinese Nationalism.
Liu's writing is considered subversive by the Chinese Communist Party, and his name is censored. He has called for multi-party elections, free markets, advocated the values of freedom, supported separation of powers and urged the governments to be "accountable for its wrongdoings. When not in prison, he has been the subject of government monitoring and put under house arrest during sensitive times.
Liu's human rights work has received international recognition. In 2004, "Reporters Without Borders awarded him the Fondation de France Prize as a defender of "press freedom.
|June 1989 – January 1991||Charged with spreading messages to instigate counterrevolutionary behavior.||Imprisoned in one of China's best-known maximum security prisons, "Qincheng Prison, and discharged when he signed a "letter of repentance."|
|May 1995 – January 1996||Being involved in democracy and human rights movement and voicing publicly the need to redress the government's wrongdoings in the student protest of 1989||Released after being jailed for six months.|
|October 1996 – October 1999||Charged with disturbing the social order||Jailed in a labor education camp for three years. In 1996, he married "Liu Xia.|
|December 2009 – 2020||Charged with spreading a message to subvert the country and authority||Sentenced for 11 years and deprived of all political rights for two years. Currently imprisoned in "Jinzhou Prison in "Liaoning Province.|
Liu Xiaobo actively participated in the writing of and, along with more than three hundred Chinese citizens, signed Charter 08. The Charter is a "manifesto released on 10 December 2008 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was written in the style of the Czechoslovak "Charter 77, calling for more freedom of expression, human rights, more democratic elections, for privatizing state enterprises and land and for "economic liberalism. As of September 2010, the Charter has collected over 10,000 signatures.
Two days before the official release of Charter 08, late in the evening of 8 December 2008, Liu was taken into custody by the police, as was Zhang Zuhua, another scholar and Charter 08 signatory. According to Zhang, the two were detained on suspicion of gathering signatures to the Charter. While Liu was detained in "solitary confinement, he was forbidden to meet with his lawyer or family, though he was allowed to eat lunch with his wife, Liu Xia, and two policemen on New Year's Day 2009. On 23 June 2009, the Beijing "procuratorate approved Liu's arrest on charges of "suspicion of inciting subversion of state power," a crime under Article 105 of "China's Criminal Law. In a "Xinhua news release announcing Liu's arrest, the Beijing "Public Security Bureau alleged that Liu had incited the subversion of state power and the overturn of the socialist system through methods such as spreading rumors and slander, citing almost verbatim Article 105; the Beijing PSB also noted that Liu had "fully confessed."
On 1 December 2009, Beijing police transferred Liu's case to the "procuratorate for investigation and processing; on 10 December, the procuratorate formally indicted Liu on charges of ""inciting subversion of state power" under and sent his lawyers, Shang Baojun and Ding Xikui, the indictment document. He was tried at Beijing No. 1 Intermediate Court on 23 December 2009. His wife was not permitted to observe the hearing, although his brother-in-law was present. Diplomats from more than a dozen states – including the U.S., Britain, Canada, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand – were denied access to the court to watch the trial and stood outside the court for its duration. Amongst these included Gregory May, political officer at the U.S. Embassy, and Nicholas Weeks, first secretary of the Swedish Embassy.
Liu wrote a statement, entitled ""I have no enemies", intending for it to be read at his trial. He was never given the right to speak. The essay was later read in the "2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, which Liu was unable to attend due to imprisonment. On 25 December 2009, Liu was sentenced to eleven years' imprisonment and two years' deprivation of political rights by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court on charges of "inciting subversion of state power." According to Liu's family and counsel, he plans to appeal the judgment. In the verdict, Charter 08 was named as part of the evidence supporting his conviction. "John Pomfret of The Washington Post said Christmas Day was chosen to dump the news because the Chinese government believed Westerners were less likely to take notice on a holiday.
|“||China's political reform [...] should be gradual, peaceful, orderly and controllable and should be interactive, from above to below and from below to above. This way causes the least cost and leads to the most effective result. I know the basic principles of political change, that orderly and controllable social change is better than one which is chaotic and out of control. The order of a bad government is better than the chaos of anarchy. So I oppose systems of government that are dictatorships or monopolies. This is not 'inciting subversion of state power'. Opposition is not equivalent to subversion.||”|
|— Liu Xiaobo, 9 February 2010|
In an article published in the "South China Morning Post, Liu argued that his verdict violated China's constitution, and the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the "United Nations. He argued that charges against him of 'spreading rumours, slandering and in other ways inciting the subversion of the government and overturning the socialist system' were contrived, as he did not fabricate or create false information, nor did he besmirch the good name and character of others by merely expressing a point of view, a value judgment.
Liu's detention was condemned worldwide by organisations and other countries. On 11 December 2008, the "U.S. Department of State called for Liu's release, which was followed on 22 December 2008 by a similar request from a consortium of scholars, writers, lawyers and human rights advocates. Additionally, on 21 January 2009, 300 international writers, including "Salman Rushdie, "Margaret Atwood, "Ha Jin and "Jung Chang, called for Liu's release in a statement put out through "PEN. In March 2009, the "One World Film Festival awarded Liu Xiaobo the Homo Homini Award, organized by the "People in Need foundation, for promoting freedom of speech, democratic principles and human rights.
In December 2009, the "European Union and United States issued formal appeals calling for the unconditional release of Liu Xiaobo. China, responding to the international calls prior to the verdict, stated that other nations should "respect China's judicial sovereignty and to not do things that will interfere in China's internal affairs."
Responding to the verdict, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner "Navanethem Pillay expressed concern at the deterioration of political rights in China. German Chancellor "Angela Merkel strongly criticized the verdict, stating "despite the great progress in other areas in the expression of views, I regret that the Chinese government still massively restricts press freedom." Canada and Switzerland also condemned the verdict. The "Republic of China President "Ma Ying-jeou called on Beijing to "tolerate dissent". On 6 January 2010, former Czech president Václav Havel joined with other communist-era dissidents at the Chinese Embassy in Prague to present a petition calling for Liu's release. On 22 January 2010, "European Association for Chinese Studies sent an open letter to "Hu Jintao on behalf of over 800 scholars from 36 countries calling for Liu's release.
On 18 January 2010, Liu was nominated for the "2010 Nobel Peace Prize by "Václav Havel, the "14th Dalai Lama, "André Glucksmann, "Vartan Gregorian, "Mike Moore, "Karel Schwarzenberg, "Desmond Tutu and "Grigory Yavlinsky. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu stated that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu would be "totally wrong". Geir Lundestad, a secretary of the Nobel Committee, stated the award would not be influenced by Beijing's opposition. On 25 September 2010, "The New York Times reported that a petition in support of the Nobel nomination was being circulated in China.
On 14 September 2010, the Mayor of "Reykjavík, "Jón Gnarr, met on an unrelated matter with CPC Politburo member "Liu Qi and demanded China set the dissident Liu Xiaobo free. Also that September Václav Havel, Dana Němcová and Václav Malý, leaders of "Czechoslovakia's "Velvet Revolution, published an open letter in the "International Herald Tribune calling for the award to be given to Liu, while a petition began to circulate soon afterwards.
On 6 October 2010, the non-governmental organization "Freedom Now, which serves as an international counsel to Liu Xiaobo as retained by his family, publicly released a letter from 30 members of the "U.S. Congress to President "Barack Obama, urging him to directly raise both Liu's case and that of fellow imprisoned dissident "Gao Zhisheng to Chinese President Hu Jintao at the G-20 Summit in November 2010. The Republic of China President "Ma Ying-jiu congratulated Liu on winning the Nobel Prize and requested Chinese authorities to improve their impression to the world about human rights, but not calling for his release from prison.
In 2011, the WorldWideReading is dedicated to Liu Xiaobo; on 20 March, there were readings in more than 60 towns and cities on all continents and broadcast via radio stations. The appeal "Freedom for Liu Xiaobo" has so far been supported by more than 700 writers from around the world, amongst them the Nobel Prize laureates John M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Herta Müller and Elfriede Jelinek, as well as Breyten Breytenbach, Eliot Weinberger, Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Mario Vargas Llosa, Wolf Biermann and Dave Eggers.
The international literature festival called for a worldwide reading on 20 March 2011 for Liu Xiaobo. More than 700 authors from all continents signed the appeal and over 150 institutions took part in the event. 
On 19 November 2013, his wife, Liu Xia, who was placed under house arrest shortly after Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Prize, filed an appeal for Liu Xiaobo's retrial. This move has been called "extraordinary" because the action could refocus the world's attention on China's human rights record. According to her attorney, "Mo Shaoping, Liu Xia visited her husband in "Jinzhou Prison in "Liaoning Province and gained his approval before filing this motion.
On 8 October 2010, the Nobel Committee awarded Liu the Nobel Peace Prize "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China," saying that Liu had long been front-runner as the recipient of the prize.
China reacted negatively to the award, "immediately censoring news about the announcement of the award in China, though later that day limited news of the award became available.["clarification needed] Foreign news broadcasters including "CNN and the "BBC were immediately blocked, while "heavy censorship was applied to personal communications. The Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced the award to Liu Xiaobo, saying that it "runs completely counter to the principle of the award and is also a desecration of the Peace Prize." The "Norwegian ambassador to the People's Republic of China was summoned by the Foreign Ministry on 8 October 2010 and was presented with an official complaint about the granting of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu. The Chinese government has called Liu Xiaobo a criminal and stated that he does not deserve the prize. Chinese dissident "Wei Jingsheng, in his response to news of the award, criticized Liu by calling him "the accomplice of the Communist regime."
Following the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize, celebrations in China were either stopped or curtailed, and prominent intellectuals and other dissidents were detained, harassed or put under surveillance; Liu's wife, "Liu Xia, was placed under house arrest and was forbidden to talk to reporters even though no official charges were brought. Sixty-five countries with missions in "Norway were all invited to the Nobel Prize ceremony, but fifteen declined, in some cases due to heavy lobbying by China. Besides China, these countries were "Russia, "Kazakhstan, "Tunisia, "Saudi Arabia, "Pakistan, "Iraq, "Iran, "Vietnam, "Venezuela, "Egypt, "Sudan, "Cuba, and "Morocco.
China also imposed travel restrictions on known dissidents ahead of the ceremony. A Chinese group announced that its answer to the Nobel Peace Prize, the "Confucius Peace Prize, would be awarded to former Taiwan Vice-President "Lien Chan for the bridge of peace he has been building between Taiwan and Mainland China. Lien Chan himself denied any knowledge of the $15,000 prize.
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"The Global Times published a statement that Liu Xiaobo and his case had properly undergone "strict legal procedure", blaming Western regiments for sensationalizing the Liu Xiaobo story "in defiance of China's judicial sovereignty". The Chinese paper also reject the idea of Liu Xiaobo being described as "China's Mandela"; stating that "Mandela was a Nobel Peace Prize laureate for leading African people to anti-apartheid victory through struggles... however, awarding a Chinese prisoner who confronted authorities and was rejected by mainstream Chinese society derides China's judiciary system... (which) makes sure a society of 1.3 billion people runs smoothly." the paper said.
The late former Venezuelan President "Hugo Chavez stated that the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize should have been given to those who "have done the most for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and promotion of peace congresses". Both Pakistan and Cuba denounced the selection of Liu Xiaobo as the award recipient, stating that he was exactly "the type of 'dissident' that the United States has been designing for decades to use ... as fifth columns in those countries that they disagree with because those countries dissent from (American) hegemony."
The "United Arab Emirates expressed dissatisfaction over such "politically motivated" decisions in determining who becomes the Nobel laureates, adding that it is "against the UAE's fundamental belief in respecting other nations' sovereignty and non-interference."
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|Awards and achievements|
|"Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
"Ellen Johnson Sirleaf