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Ear to the Ground

Chinese Activist Sentenced to 11 Years

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Posted on Dec 25, 2009
Wikimedia Commons

Amnesty International decried the sentence of Liu Xiaobo, above, founder of the Charter 08 campaign for constitutional reform.

In one of the most improper of Christmas presents, Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese human rights activist, was sentenced to an unusually harsh 11 years in prison for charges of “subversion.” The decision was ostensibly made on Christmas Day to minimize international attention.  —JCL

The Guardian:

One of China’s most prominent human rights activists was condemned today to 11 years in prison, prompting a furious backlash from domestic bloggers and international civil society groups.

Liu Xiaobo, the founder of the Charter 08 campaign for constitutional reform, was given the unusually harsh jail term on Christmas Day in an apparent attempt to minimise international attention.

The case has raised fears that other drafters of Charter 08 could also face retribution from the authorities.

Following a year in detention and a two-hour trial, it took the No 1 intermediate people’s court in Beijing just 10 minutes to read out the 11-page sentence.

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Hollywood Russ's avatar

By Hollywood Russ, December 26, 2009 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

China does seem to be on the rise. I’ve heard that 9 out of every ten dollars that come into the country goes to military spending. Considering how tattered American forces are, if they chose to invade S. Korea and Japan, there would be very little we could do about it. I also have been made to understand that they have cornered the market on alternative energy; that is, solar panel production and wind farms components. Without a hint of racism, I am talking about the Communist Party of China, the folks who brought us the horrors of Tianenamen Square. Oh, but didn’t Regean defeat the Commies single-handedly?

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By gerard, December 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

I really don’t know how we are going to tell China what to do.  The US has all Bush’s repressive
Patriot Act laws still on the books—machinery for imprisonment that can be invoked at any moment to squelch criticism and disagreement with official policy.  We may not have open repression here, but neither are we free of the fear of it. Surely a State is weak, no matter how large and ponderous, if it cannot stand up to public criticism.

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By Brian Metcalf, December 25, 2009 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I suggest that the most EFFECTIVE method of getting political change in China is to organise a world wide boycott of “Made in China” goods.  I think this would get a surprising amount of support. The 1.4 billion population is holding The World to ransom in its bid to catch up with European and N.American economies (by running sweatshop factories, undercutting prices, and putting everyone else’s manufacturing industries out of business).  More seriously China’s political dependence on cheap coal will ensure that all attempts at getting CO2 emissions back to 350ppm. are doomed to failure. Chinese will take us all to the tipping point after which climate change goes irreversible. China knows that it will survive, albeit with a greatly reduced population, ready to overrule the few non-Chinese survivors left on Earth. 
Racist? NO.  Realist? YES.

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D.R. Zing's avatar

By D.R. Zing, December 25, 2009 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Damn! Send Glenn Beck to China!

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