The Norwegian Nobel Committee recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 to a 54-year-old Chinese literary critic and dissident named Liu Xiaobo for his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.”
Liu dedicated his Nobel prize to the hundreds of civilians who were killed by the security forces during the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. But the Chinese authorities denounced the award as “blasphemy”, labelling Liu a “criminal”. And official censors sought to prevent news of the award from circulating within China.
This is the other face of China. And efforts to quash the landmark document known as Charter 08 only underscore China’s failure to uphold the very principles that the charter advances.