Chinese Reform Activists Ramp Up Communist Party Pressure in Open Letter Supporting Liu Xiaobo

More than 100 scholars, activists, lawyers, and others in China have written an open letter supporting Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize and calling for his release. From the Australian:

“This is a major event in modern Chinese history. It offers the prospect of a significant new advance for Chinese society in its peaceful transition toward democracy and constitutional government,” the letter says.

It will be the second public calling-out of the CCP inside a week after 23 retired cadres and media bosses issued a scathing letter to China’s nominal parliament, the National People’s Congress, demanding that censorship be lifted and freedom of the press be allowed to flourish.

“For our nation to advertise itself as having `socialist democracy’ with Chinese characteristics is such an embarrassment,” the letter from the cadres said.

“Our core demand is that the system of censorship be dismantled in favor of a system of legal responsibility.”

The full letter can be read in English here, via the Australian. The original letter in Chinese and a full list of signatories is here. Signatories include (from The Australian): “Xu Youyu, one of the premier liberal intellectual figures of China and a veteran researcher from government think tank the China Academy of Social Sciences; Zhang Zuhua, one of the core drafters of Charter 08; Zi Zhongyun, former director of the American Studies Centre at of CASS; Yu Haocheng, former vice sectary general of the China Law Association; Li Datong, reputed editor at China Youth Service; leading human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, and Mr Lui’s hunger strike colleague from Tiananmen Square Zhou Duo.”

This letter follows an open letter by senior party members calling for freedom of expression in China.

Meanwhile, the Party has crafted the party line on the peace prize and propagated it in the form of two articles on the Xinhua Daily website, Danwei reports.