China Sentences Human Rights Leader to 11 Years in Jail For Drafting Pro-Democracy Paper

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has insisted that the Obama Administration will not fight with China over human rights and instead seek a “more practical” approach that emphasizes trade issues, here. Yesterday, China showed the world that it doesn’t feel any pressure to allow free speech or basic rights to its citizens. It sentenced leading human rights advocate Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison for calling for the rule of law and democracy in China.

Liu, 53, is a former literature professor who helped draft a manifesto last December that demanded open elections and the rule of law. He was convicted in a closed proceeding and lawyers were allowed less than 20 minutes to argue his case.

During his visit to China last month, President Obama raised Mr. Liu’s case with President Hu Jintao as have other leaders but China seems to have gone out of its way to show that it doesn’t give a fig about the views of other nations — particularly the United States which is deeply in debt to China. Indeed, the government called even raising the case a “gross interference in China’s judicial internal affairs.”

This comes on the heels of China destroying the chances for any meaningful global deal on climate change.

Trade discussions, however, continue unabated.

For the full story, click here.

9 thoughts on “China Sentences Human Rights Leader to 11 Years in Jail For Drafting Pro-Democracy Paper”

  1. Thank you again, Obama, for telling China they could do whatever the Hell they wanted without a peep from your corporate bosses.

  2. George:

    you are right, totalitarians must always resort to force for control. It doesn’t necessarily need to be physical force. Most totalitarian regimes come to power by first marginalizing free speech and then the individual.

  3. Byron,

    I agree. They do know the power of an idea. I just think, like Bush, when you using force is the only way you achieve your goals and maintain your power, either against your own people or internationally, your ideas are weak and thus you are weak, at least intellectually. They have a lot of physical power, though, so I guess that evens out their intellectual and philosophical short comings.

    Also agree on suppression of thought in this country, the ever-expanding politically correct litmus test in the public discourse is disheartening.

  4. George:

    they are not little and weak, they just know the power of an idea.

    The Chinese leadership is much like people in this country who suppress freedom of thought.

  5. We really have lost the ability to say anything about human rights and fair trials. We are witholding trials or giving similar ones to our immigrants and detainees right now. And yes, China owns the US empire. We wage our many wars of empire and bail out our rich by printing money and having China buy our paper.

    This was covered on the BBC– at the climate talks there actually was a working resolution that would have done some good towards ameliorating climate change. When Obama showed up, he and a few other top world leaders met alone. Obama sat across, not from the Chinese premier, but by a very low level functionary of the Chinese govt. This functionary told Obama and the others that China would not limit its emissions, nor would the other countries make any limits in their own nation that China did not approve. Merkel was appalled but Obama readily agreed. I figure this happened because neither China nor the US govt. wishes any change and they let China take the blame for that, but China gets to make it clear that they own the US and just about everyone else, by finalizing the agreement with their functionary. We didn’t hear much of this in the US to my knowledge but that’s what happened.

    Clearly, the US is morally and financially bankrupt. We need a general strike and we need it now.

  6. First, AY, I totally agree with you. We make the rules, so we get to decide what’s right (everything we do) and what’s wrong (what everybody else does who doesn’t serve our needs, however trivial).

    Secondly, how LITTLE and WEAK the leaders of China must be that they can’t even tolerate the presence of differing ideas.

  7. I wonder if the Chinese tortured this guy or did they just call in Dick Cheney as a consultant on just which kind of torture will get this guy to admit to anything and everything?

  8. Exactly how are we any different in our basic treatment of individual and human rights? Oh yeah, right now we are making the rules. I forgot.

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