Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Liu Xiaobo --- The Taiwan Reaction 

Interesting article about Taiwanese reaction to the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Liu Xiaobo. I don't know quite how to react to this. It is doubtful that many of the politicians reacting to this are really that aware of what Liu Xiaobo stands for. In the case of Taiwan, it appears that his name has become sort of a political football for politicos to kick back and forth, each blaming the other for not taking a stronger stand.

But I think there is some lack of understanding among the Americans also. Liu Xiaobo was not merely imprisoned because he expressed is feelings about some things. He is viewed with deep contempt by the party because he is actively pursuing a course of reform that would clearly require them surrendering power, or at least submitting that power to the will of the people (which would be the same thing, basically). So I guess I can understand why the Party doesn't like him. But my point is that they asked for the problem, because they have continually cultivated the image of a country that is moving in the direction he advocates.

This, I guess, is the difference between the way I see this, and the way this matter is viewed by most foreigners I talk to. They are interested in his stand on democracy, and critical of the Party for resisting it. I don't care that much about democracy. Democracy is just a form of government. But I do think that we should be passionate about freedom, and also about honesty and integrity. It is not the lack of democracy in China that bothers me. It is the lack of honesty. If the Communist Party doesn't want to implement democracy in China, they should just say it. But when they talk about how democratic and open China is becoming, and then arrest a university professor for actually trying to implement what they pretend to believe in, it makes them look foolish.

As I have said before, I don't know if Liu Xiaobo is quite the hero he is portrayed as in the West, but he does have a lot of good ideas that need to be talked about, and for that it is only fair to give him credit. But would that that credit were given by people who actually know what he stands for, rather than by opportunistic politicians.

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