A letter to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee and Mr. Havel from Overseas Chinese Concerned with Chinese Democracy
To: Nobel Peace Prize Committee
Herta Müller, 2009 Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature
U.S. State Department
U.S. National Endowment for Democracy Foundation
U.S. Human Rights Organizations
International Human Rights Organizations
Respected Nobel Prize Committee and Mr. Vaclav Havel:
We are a group of exiled overseas writers, dissidents, and overseas Chinese, who are concerned about and have been participating in the Chinese democracy movement for many years. We have always condemned the persecutory conduct of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government, and we are equally opposed to the CCP’s current persecution of writer Liu Xiaobo.
However, we do not consider that Liu Xiaobo qualifies as a candidate for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. As recently as December 23, 2009, he made a statement entitled “I have no enemies—my final statement” during his trial after being detained for nearly a year. This statement was released to Radio Free Asia and Voice of Germany by his wife on January 21, 2010. In this statement, he whitewashed the Communist regime’s appalling human rights record and legal system, based on only his own special treatment by the CCP justice system during his detention. He also contradicted himself by first saying that the CCP was criminalizing him for his speech, and then praising the CCP for putting “respecting and protecting human rights” into the constitution, saying that “it is a sign that human rights have become one of the fundamental principles of Chinese law.” Also in this statement, he praised the CCP prison system for its “tender management,” “offering inmates a humane living environment,” and “making them feel warm.”
At the same time that Liu Xiaobo was receiving “tender and humane” special treatment in jail, under the same totalitarian regime, in the same year, under the same legal system, Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and other prisoners of conscience were suffering from brutal tortures as atrocious as electric shocks to the genitals by the police. Liu Xiaobo clearly knew that the CCP was deliberately giving him special lenient treatment while ruthlessly brutalizing Mr. Gao Zhisheng and other prisoners of conscience. But he still said in his “I have no enemies” statement that the Chinese government “recognizes universal standards of human rights.” This is consistent with his conduct after the Tiananmen movement of 1989. Back then in a speech broadcast across the national television network, he helped the CCP to cover up its massacre during the June 4th movement. Because of these deeds and conduct, he has lost the moral image fit for a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
As everyone knows, the CCP has always refused to share power with any force outside the government. It also views anyone who demands it to relinquish its dictatorship as “hostile forces.” These “hostile forces” are subjected to brutal persecution by the CCP, regardless of whether the demand was in the form of resistance or gentle suggestions, including Liu Xiaobo’s “Charter 08,” which tries to persuade the CCP to adopt democracy. Liu’s arrest this time again demonstrates the fall of the fantasy that the CCP regime will reform itself and peacefully transition into a democracy. It also shows that Liu Xiaobo’s path of persuasion and advice can only lead to a dead end.
Liu Xiaobo is free to say whatever he wants, but as a public-figure “dissident,” his disregard for facts and open praise for the CCP regime that tramples on human rights, and his attempt to both defend himself and exonerate the CCP, all set a precedent of confounding truth and falsehood that misguides and negatively impacts the Chinese democracy movement.
The point of dispute among the Chinese dissidents is this: How do we confront the totalitarian rule of the CCP? This dispute divides Chinese dissidents into those who favor change through resistance and those who favor change through cooperation. The former completely negate the totalitarian Communist system, calling for the people to reject dictatorship and establish a democratic government; the latter cooperate with the CCP, hoping to work with it to establish a “democratic system.” The existence of such severe differences among the Chinese dissidents, plus the CCP intelligence operation’s infiltration and buy off, makes the ranks of dissidents highly complex. The current Chinese democracy movement is as chaotic and complicated as the resistance movements before the collapse of the Communist parties in the Eastern European countries. It is our belief that perhaps only time can reveal the true face of Liu Xiaobo as a controversial figure and representative of the “cooperative faction.”
Finally, we would like to clarify that we are opposed to any infringements on freedom and human rights by the CCP. We also consider it illegal to criminalize free speech and persecute and imprison either those who try to bring change through resistance or those who try to achieve reform through cooperation. Nonetheless, awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, with his defective image and being a representative of the “cooperative faction,” will have a negative impact on the Chinese peoples’ struggle for human rights, freedom, and democracy.
To inspire the Chinese people currently struggling against the brutal tyranny of the CCP, with respect to the selection of Chinese candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, we hope that the Nobel Committee will consider those individuals who have made real contributions to the struggle for freedom, human rights and democracy in China. They are, for example, Gao Zhisheng and Hu Jia who are currently being persecuted by the CCP, and Dr. Gao Yaojie who just fled China to escape persecution.
Sincerely and respectfully yours,
Bian Hexiang Anti-CCP activist. Member, Central Committee of Chinese Social Democratic Party; Chairman, The Coalition of Guards For American Values, Inc.; blacklisted by CCP for the pursuit of freedom and democracy in China and support for Fanlun Gong’s struggle against persecution. Now living in New York City, USA.
Huan Xuewen Freelance writer. Passport invalidated by CCP in 1992 for joining overseas independent students and scholars organizations and opposing the 1989 massacre by CCP. Now living in Essen, Germany.
Liu Guohua Anti-CCP activist, Former Associate Professor of Northeastern University, China. Vice Chairman, The Coalition of Guards For American Values, Inc. Now living in New York City, USA.
Liu Xiaodong Freelance writer, Pen name: San Mei. Blacklisted by CCP for supporting and participating in Chinese pro-democracy movements. Now living in Chicago, USA.
Lu Decheng Anti-CCP activist. Sentenced to imprisonment for 15 years for participating in the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy movement and defacing Mao’s portrait on Tiananmen with paint-filled eggs; released on parole in 1998. Now living in Calgary, Canada.
Su Junyan Freelance writer. Senior political critic, graduate of Department of History, Beijing University. Persecuted by CCP for expressing political views during the June 4th movement and sentenced to imprisonment; won the United Nations’ political asylum. Now living in Toronto, Canada.
Tang Boqiao Chairman, China Peace and Democracy Federation. Sentenced to imprisonment for three years for participating and organizing the 1989 pro-democracy movement, and served for 18 months. Now living in New York City, USA.
Wang Gongbiao Human rights activist. Suffered from discrimination by the CCP government due to family origin, persecuted by CCP for free speech, exiled to Australia and won political asylum there. Now living in Sydney, Australia.
Wang Shenglin Chinese dissident, Senior Financial Information Analyst at HSBC. Blacklisted by CCP for supporting and participating in Chinese pro-democracy movements. Now living in Chicago, USA.
Wu Fan Anti-CCP activist. Chief Editor, China Affairs, member of Independent Chinese PEN Centre; member, Coordinating Committee of Chinese Liberal Culture Movement; labeled as a rightist by CCP in 1957, charged as a reactionary and sentenced to imprisonment for 20 years in 1968; served in labor camp for 12 years; released in November, 1979, and then taught in Anhui Teachers College, China. Now living in Los Angeles, USA.
Xiao Hong Freelance writer. Now living in Denmark.
Xiao Jing Manager, Broad Book USA. Rose against CCP for mother’s persecution by CCP for practicing Falun Gong; Canadian citizen. Now living in New York City, USA.
Xiong Yan Participant of the 1989 Tiananmen student pro-democracy movement. Arrested and sentenced to imprisonment on June 14, 1989; released in January, 1991; currently serving in US Army as Army Priest. Now living in Alabama, USA.
Xu Shuiliang Anti-CCP activist. Devoted to Chinese pro-democracy movement from 1973; jailed twice from 1975-1979 and May 1981- May 1991 for supporting and participating in Chinese pro-democracy movements. Now living in New York City, USA.
Xu Yi Associate Professor at University College London, UK. Blacklisted by CCP for supporting and participating in Chinese pro-democracy movements, and denied passport renewal for many years. Now living in London, UK.
Yuan Hongbing Freelance writer, jurist, founder of Chinese Liberal Culture Movement. Arrested by CCP for participating in the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy movement; exiled to Guizhou, China; sought political asylum in Australia in 2004. Now living in Sydney, Australia.
Zeng Dajun Teacher. Now living in New York City, USA.
Zhang Guoting Anti-CCP activist, Internet writer. Arrested and sentenced to labor camp in 1960 at age 16, subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for reactionary crimes, served in prison for 22 years, released in 1982 and fled to Denmark. Now living in Denmark.
Zhong Weiguang Freelance writer. Blacklisted by CCP for publications that point out the problems of Communism and Communist culture, and articles that criticize the CCP government; passport invalidated by CCP in 1997. Now living in Essen, Germany.
图图大主教 (Desmond Tutu)
伍凡 中共制度的政治反对派，现任《中国事务》总编辑、中国独立笔会成员、中国自由文化运动协调委员会委员。 1957年被当局内定右派份子，1968年被当局定为现行反革命份子判有期徒刑20年，劳改12年，于 1979年11月释放，回中国安徽师范大学任教。现住美国加州洛杉矶。