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China State Media Calls Liu Xiaobo “Extreme,” “Arrogant” in Character Assassination Piece

28 Oct 2010

Just two days ago, a letter signed by 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates was sent to G-20 leaders calling for the release of 2010’s prize recipient, Liu Xiaobo. Now China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency has published an article titled “Who is Liu Xiaobo?” — a scathing and seemingly fabricated profile of the imprisoned human rights activist.

Beyond calling Charter 08 “totally obsolete,” Xinhua makes countless absurd allegations against Liu in the piece. Here are just a few of them:

Liu said that China needed to be a colony for 300 years to have a “real change”…Liu said that the Chinese people “are totally weak both physically and psychologically,” and “have no creativity.” He thought that was due to “the race”.

And perhaps my favorite:

Doesn’t Liu chase after wealth? Let himself speak for this…”Once at the Beijing Friendship Store, I saw a bottle of wine supposed to be purchased with 160 yuan worth of foreign exchange certificate. I stood in front of it, feeling weak and smashed. Damn. I am famous and I deliver speeches, but I just can’t conquer a bottle of wine.” It’s pretty clear what he stands for.

Kim Jensen, China news correspondent for Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende, raises a very good point: “And again – who is China’s mighty soft power machine trying to convince with a piece like [this]?” The audience for the English-translated version of the article, especially, is uncertain.

According to China observer C.A. Yeung, Chinese netziens noted the article was the first time that the PRC’s state-run media had acknowledged the existence of Charter 08 — perhaps a small victory. Of course, here the democracy manifesto is described as a document that would “make China a vassal of the West.”

One thing’s for sure, though: the author of this “news article” won’t be teaching a workshop on realist fiction anytime soon.

Read the full English article hereand the original Chinese version here.

[via @niubi]

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