When Liu Xia, wife of imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo, sent a letter to 140 of her husband’s friends and colleagues asking them to attend the Nobel award ceremony in his stead, writer Dai Qing was one of the recipients. She now writes for Probe International about her feelings upon receiving the invitation:
The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony will be held on December 10 in Oslo. Will the Chinese authorities temporarily relax the controls on Xiaobo – as Hitler and Göring ultimately did in the von Ossietzky case by releasing him from a concentration camp? Or will the Chinese authorities close one eye, watching his relatives go to the ceremony – as the Burmese Junta did on Aung San’s case?
Like many Chinese citizens, I certainly hope that my country would share the contemporary view on “human rights” with the world; I also hope that Premier Wen would honor his words on universal values with deeds in one or two real cases. No matter how you may reason it, wouldn’t I be right to argue that our dignified People’s Republic shouldn’t compare to Nazi Germany or the Burmese military government?
Mr. Hu and Mr. Wen, you two may not agree with Xiaobo’s award. So be it. There were so many people all over the world who did not agree with Obama winning the award last year. But since the award to Xiaobo is now a fact, there is nothing wrong with showing a little generosity and releasing Liu Xia from her house arrest to allow her to go to Oslo to receive the award on behalf of her husband. By doing so, you would be making a conciliatory gesture towards the world and, as you have said so often, paving the way for the harmonious development of China’s future.
Unfortunately, the situation has not eased since Liu Xia’s “open invitation to the friends of Liu Xiaobo” was disseminated online.