Dumb Arguments About Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo winning the Nobel Peace Prize has given rise to a lot of discussion. The Global Times, for one, has been running vicious op-eds slamming Liu and the Nobel Peace Prize daily since the award was announced. Some of the discussion happening outside official media, in contrast, has been interesting and productive, but there are two specific arguments against Liu Xiaobo that I’d like to address here.

Dumb Argument #1

The first appears as oft-cited evidence that Liu Xiaobo is a traitor to China. Commenters generally post this quotation from an interview Liu Xiaobo gave:

“(It would take) 300 years of colonialism. In 100 years of colonialism, Hong Kong has changed to what we see today. With China being so big, of course it would take 300 years of colonialism for it to be able to transform into how Hong Kong is today. I have my doubts as to whether 300 years would be enough.”

Indeed, the quote is pretty shocking. But what these commenters generally fail to mention is that (1) the quotation is from 1988 and that (2) Liu has since suggested that at the time (he was giving an interview to a Hong Kong publication) he was just talking and hadn’t fully thought his response though.

One could argue all day about whether Liu actually meant this, whether he still believes it, and whether that makes him a traitor, but the fact is that he hasn’t said anything like that since 1988, which is why his detractors go back so far to dig something up against him. As James Fallows puts it:

“It’s in no way representative of Liu’s general position, which is that of a Chinese nationalist working to bring universal values to his own country.”

Liu is a professional writer with a large body of work; if he were truly a traitor who wanted China to be subjugated to foreign powers, presumably it would be easy to find evidence of that in his writing, but I have yet to see a single argument against Liu online or in the Chinese media that quoted even a single line from anything he has written.

Dumb Argument #2

The second argument suggests that Liu deserved his eleven year sentence and/or is a traitor to China for accepting money from foreign organizations, with a side helping of “Americans are hypocrites because that’s illegal in America, too.” Here I am quoting commenter Charles Liu on this post:

Liu Xiaobo has received hundreds of thousands of US government funding via the NED in the past five years to conduct domestic political activity in China (including advocating abolition of China’s constitution.) Check NED’s China grants for Independent Chinese Pen Center and Minzhu Zhongguo magazine, which Liu heads.

If Liu were American he would be in violation of FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act). Ron Paul had once commented “What the NED does in foreign countries… would be rightly illegal in the United States”.

As you might expect, this is a clever mix of truth, lies, and intentionally misleading suggestions. In actuality, if Liu were in the US, he would be perfectly fine, assuming he did register and keep records of who gave him money, as is required by the FARA. Moreover, there’s no reason to think Liu would have been sentenced to a day of jail time even if he did refuse to register in the US. In fact, not a single person has been convicted in a criminal case under FARA since 1966.

Moreover, the whole thing is a false analogy, as Liu was convicted of “attempting to incite subversion of state power” based on the contents of Charter 08, not because he had accepted money from foreign governments and thus violated some law similar to FARA. Quoting from the official verdict read at the end of Liu’s trial, he was convicted because he “published inciting articles”, and because he “drafted and concocted Charter 08″ and then posted it on overseas websites.

Specifically, he was convicted of violating article 105 section two of the PRC criminal code, which reads:

“Whoever incites others by spreading rumors or slanders or any other means to subvert the State power or overthrow the socialist system shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance or deprivation of political rights; and the ringleaders and the others who commit major crimes shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years. “

In fact, accepting money from foreign organizations can, in some cases, be illegal in China, as evidenced by Articles 106 and 107 of the Criminal Code:

Article 106: Whoever commits the crime as prescribed in Article 103, 104 or 105 of this Chapter in collusion with any organ, organization or individual outside the territory of China shall be given a heavier punishment according to the provisions stipulated in these Articles respectively.

Article 107: Where an organ, organization or individual inside or outside of the territory of China provides funds to any organization or individual within the territory of China to commit the crime as prescribed in Article 102, 103, 104 or 105, the person who is directly responsible for the crime shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years, criminal detention, public surveillance or deprivation of political rights; if the circumstances are serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years.

But neither of these laws were even mentioned in Liu’s verdict. From the verdict: “The procuratorate found that Liu Xiaobo’s actions have violated the stipulations of Article 105 (2) of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China…” No other article is mentioned.

So, in short, Liu’s crime and sentencing in China are in no way comparable to FARA and, in the words of those who convicted and sentenced him, he was not imprisoned for accepting money from foreign organizations like NED.

“Universal Values” and “Western Imperialism”

“Trying to impose western so-called ‘universal’ values on China” is a charge that has been leveled at Liu Xiaobo, the Norwegian Nobel committee, and a whole lot of other people. It is of only tangential relevance here, but we’ll quickly address it anyway. Since detractors rarely, if ever, cite specifics from Liu’s body of work, it’s difficult to know which “Western values” he is supposedly trying to force on China.

In terms of Charter 08, though, as a recent joke being passed around the Chinese internet points out, most if not all of the ideas in the charter are evident, and often more strongly worded, in speeches and writings of revered CCP leaders like Zhou Enlai:

Hu Jintao: Has Liu Xiaobo confessed yet?

Prosecutors: He’s confessed everything and we’ve corroborated his statements.

Hu Jintao: So [in Charter ‘08] where does he get the phrase “federated republic?”

Prosecutors: This comes from the report of the second congress of the Chinese Communist Party. The original wording was, “establish a free federated republic.” Only, the word “free” is not in the Charter.

Hu Jintao: Then… then, what about the military being made answerable to the national government and not to a political party?

Prosecutors: We’ve looked into it! This comes from The Selected Works of Zhou Enlai. The original wording was, “We must make the military answerable to the national government.” Only, the word “must” is not in the Charter.

Hu Jintao: Then… then … then, where does all that stuff praising Western style democracy come from?

Prosecutors: The Xinhua Daily ran an editorial that read, “America represents a democratic society.” Only, the Charter doesn’t say “America represents.”

Hu Jintao: Then… then… then, what about an end to one party rule?

Prosecutors: This is a slogan from great grandfather Mao when he opposed the Guomindang [the Nationalists]! The original wording of the slogan was, “Topple the one party dictatorship!” [When the Nationalists were vying for power with the Communists, Mao strongly advocated a multi-party government. Failure to create a multi-party state led to civil war.]

Hu Jintao: Then… then… then… then, what about freedom of association, freedom of speech, and a free press?

Prosecutors: These are all part of the Constitution!

Moreover, it’s worth noting that “human rights” is not in and of itself a Western concept. In fact, one of the principal drafters of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights was P.C. Chang, a Chinese citizen who was a dedicated Confucian, a lover of traditional poetry, and a member of the anti-Japanese resistance during World War II. Chinese people in Hong Kong and Taiwan, among other places, have adopted so-called “Western” values like freedom of the press and democracy, yet they are still recognized as Chinese.

Yes, of course, some of these ideas have their origins in the West, but there’s plenty of precedent for a belief in fundamental freedoms and human rights in China’s native traditions, too (this will be the subject of a future post at some point). In any event, the idea that Liu’s advocating things like democracy and freedom of the press is somehow fundamentally “not Chinese” is ridiculous.

Comments

There are, certainly, arguments to be made in favor of not giving the prize to Liu Xiaobo. Others may have deserved the award more (I don’t personally think so, but I don’t know a lot about many of the other candidates, either). Arguments that Liu Xiaobo is a traitor to China or that he deserved his eleven year sentence, on the other hand, seem to be few and far between.

I am, as ever, open to other interpretations, but our discussions on this in the past have gone off the rails, so the rules here are going to be a bit stricter. If you’re going to make an argument in the comments (one way or the other) you need to support it with actual evidence, and you need to do it without attacking other commenters personally. NO EXCEPTIONS.

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0 thoughts on “Dumb Arguments About Liu Xiaobo”

  1. Some Guy’s problem is that he refuses to believe Liu really wants China to be colonized. Well, he does. I have come to that conclusion by having read a lot of his articles and essays written over the years. Some Guy obviously hasn’t. I have to ask him: You did learn in school to base your opinion on evidence, no?

    And this is also Custer’s problem. Without having read Liu’s essays, Custer just assumed. And the essays do exist on Tianya. The fact that he is unwilling to actually do research says a lot.

    And in case Some Guy is here trying to be condescending again: I live in America, Florida to be exact, much more multi-cultural than you could imagine in your little town where a Muslim getting elected an official is reason for you to flaunt. Pathetic. Come to Florida and pick up some Hebrew and Spanish, it’ll do you good. The world is larger than you think and not all ethnic Chinese who don’t want to be colonized live in China (this is what’s most disturbing about Some Guy’s initial post). Surely you’ve seen Chinese people in Canada?

    Like

  2. C. Custer: “Among the dozens of editorials condemning Liu and the Prize, I challenge you to find even one that goes into details about what he actually did or what the ‘treasonous’ charter says.”

    1) You must keep in mind, Charles, that the CCP has endeavored for decades to conflate ideas of nation and Party (CCP) in the minds of the Chinese public. As such, patriotism and support of the CCP are, in many respects, co-terminous. Take, for example, a visit to Hong Kong by Jiang Zemin in the early 2000s. After being questioned aggressively by members of the local press, Jiang, who was not accustomed to live press conferences, lost his cool and lashed out, saying, “You people need to be more patriotic!” Of course, Jiang wasn’t really questioning the journalists’ love of country; rather, he was angry about their apparent lack of love for the Party (CCP). Similarly, during a different visit to HK, a second member of the Central Standing Committee of the Politbureau reacted angrily to questions regarding the democratization of HK’s political system by saying, “Hong Kong will never have democracy until it becomes more patriotic.” Here too, the word 爱国 (“love of country”) was used when what was meant was 爱党 (“love of the Party”).

    In the minds of many/most Chinese, no distinction is made between criticism of the Party and criticism of China. In other words, as lead signatory of a document that criticizes the Party, Liu is guilty of treason. Americans and citizens of other Western democracies may point to the legal primacy of their nations’ constitutions. In China, however, nothing trumps the will of the Party. Not even the law. One could view Charter 08 and the recent letter signed by several “Party elders” as part of a much larger debate in China concerning rule of law and the limited exercise of power. This is a debate that began in the West in the early 13th century with the drafting of the Magna Carta (one of the most important constitutional documents in all of human history–ever wonder where our ideas about Habeas Corpus and the Bill of Rights come from?). Seven hundred years later, and the Chinese are just beginning to have this debate. King John and the CCP have more in common than you may think.

    2) Such campaigns to disparage enemies of the Party are hardly new. The fact that Liu Xiaobo and the Nobel committee are being openly attacked in the Chinese media while the specifics of Charter 08 go unmentioned is about par for the course in the P.R.C. In 1974, the People’s Daily ran daily editorials for months on end attacking Italian director Michelagelo Antonio and his documentary “Chung Kuo.” The February 22, 1974 issue of Peking Review (an English language magazine formerly published on the Mainland) had this to say about Antonioni and his film:

    “The film ‘China’ [Chung Kuo] by the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni is an out-and-out anti-China film. Its appearance is a serious anti-China event and a wild provocation against the Chinese people. All Chinese who have national pride are greatly infuriated to see that this anti-China film attacks Chinese leaders, smears socialist New China, slanders China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and insults the Chinese people.”

    Ring any bells, Charles? Like the current fracas over Liu Xiaobo and Charter 08, the great irony of the anti-Antonioni campaign was that most Chinese never had a chance to view the film and decide for themselves if it was anti-China. While Antonioni’s film was condemned by official China for having “smeared” New China, the Nobel committee’s decision to award the Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo is now said to have “smeared” Reform and Opening China. Nothing’s changed but a few of the modifiers. The Party’s penchant for obscurantism (愚民政策 – literally, “a policy to keep the people stupid/ignorant”) is as strong as its ever been. After all, why fix something if it’s not broken? The more things change… Sad, sad, sad.

    You can read more about Antonioni and “Chung Kuo” at ESWN. Here is the link:

    http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20070803_1.htm

    For those who are interested, here is the text of the first and most important editorial attacking Antonioni from the Jan. 30, 1974 issue of People’s Daily:

    恶毒的用心 卑劣的手法
    ——批判安东尼奥尼拍摄的题为《中国》的反华影片

    本报评论员

    自从天安门广场上升起五星红旗,新中国宣告诞生的一天起,世
    界上各种政治力量就对我们国家发生的翻天覆地的社会变革和在社会
    主义建设中取得的巨大成就,抱有不同的态度。亿万革命人民和广大
    国际朋友表示赞扬和同情,而一小撮反动势力则表现出极端的恐惧和
    刻骨的仇恨。这是古今中外一切大革命所必然遇到的一种现象。去年
    开始在一些西方国家放映的、由意大利导演安东尼奥尼拍摄的题为《
    中国》的反华影片,就是当前国际上一小撮帝国主义和社会帝国主义
    分子对新中国极端仇视的心理的反映。这个影片的出现,是一个严重
    的反华事件,是对中国人民的猖狂挑衅。
    安东尼奥尼是在一九七二年春作为我们的客人到中国来的。他带
    着摄影机访问了北京、上海、南京、苏州和林县。但是,他的中国之
    行,不是为了增进对中国的了解,更不是为了增进中意两国人民的友
    谊,而是怀着对中国人民的敌意,采取别有用心的、十分卑劣的手法
    ,利用这次访问的机会,专门搜罗可以用来污蔑攻击中国的材料,以
    达到不可告人之目的。在他拍摄的长达三个半小时的影片中,根本没
    有反映我们伟大祖国的新事物、新气象、新面貌,而是把大量经过恶
    意歪曲了的场面和镜头集中起来,攻击我国领导人,丑化社会主义新
    中国,诽谤我国无产阶级文化大革命,侮辱我国人民。任何稍有民族
    自尊的中国人,看了这部影片,都不能不感到极大愤慨。如果容忍这
    样的影片在世界上招摇撞骗,那就等于承认任意侮辱中国人民的反动
    宣传是正当的行为,那就是向国际反动派的反华挑衅投降。我们要彻
    底揭露和批判这部影片的反革命实质,回答国际反动派对中国人民的
    挑战。这是当前值得人们十分重视的思想和政治战线上的一场严重斗
    争。
      (一)
    影片摄制者在解说词中说,他“不打算评论中国,而只想开始观
    察中国的各种面目、姿态和习惯”。这完全是骗人的。这个所谓“纪
    录片”,每一个镜头都有评论,这是借用反动艺术手法污蔑和丑化中
    国的极其恶毒的政治评论,是肆无忌惮地公开露骨地反华反共反革命
    的政治评论。
    影片的镜头从北京天安门开始,看起来似乎是很自然的,其实,
    这种安排却是为整个“纪录片”的反动主题服务的。影片说,“北京
    是中国政治、革命的中心”,“人民共和国就在天安门宣告成立”,
    “文化革命的红卫兵浪潮也在这里兴起”。然后,影片“离开天安门
    ”,带领观众开始“观察”中国,也就是要人们看看中国革命究竟给
    中国人民带来了什么,接着就展开一连串的反动画面,把新中国糟踏
    得不象样子。影片的这种结构和布局,纯粹是为了把攻击矛头集中地
    指向中国共产党领导下的革命。咒骂革命,否定革命,反对革命,就
    是这部影片的要害所在。
    反动影片《中国》全盘否定和完全抹煞了我国社会主义建设各条
    战线取得的伟大成就,企图使人相信今天的社会主义新中国同往日的
    半封建半殖民地的旧中国几乎没有什么两样。
    安东尼奥尼把上海作为“工业化的大城市”介绍给观众,其目的
    恰恰是要污蔑我国的社会主义工业。明明上海有许许多多现代化的大
    型企业,影片的摄制者却视而不见,而专门搜集设备简陋、手工操作
    的零乱镜头。明明黄浦江边矗立着能制造万吨轮的造船厂,江上停泊
    着我国的远洋轮,而在安东尼奥尼的镜头下,黄浦江里的大货船都是
    外国的,小木船都是中国的。影片的摄制者公然站在帝国主义的立场
    上说,上海的工业“并非产生于今天”,“上海作为一个城市,则完
    全是由外国资本在上世纪建立起来的”,而解放后“仓促建立起来的
    工业往往只比大的手工业工厂好些”,“上海最大的炼油厂,也是一
    个可怜的厂,几乎是用废料建成的”。这不是明目张胆地大肆炫耀十
    九世纪帝国主义侵华的“功劳”,竭力贬低我国人民自力更生发展工
    业的伟大成就吗?影片中还以极其卑劣的手段拍了一些丑化劳动人民
    的镜头。作者的险恶用心是要暗示,中国的主要工业城市上海尚且如
    此,其他地区岂不可想而知!
    安东尼奥尼把林县作为“中国的第一个社会主义山区”介绍给观
    众,其目的恰恰是要污蔑我国的社会主义农村。在影片中,闻名中外
    的红旗渠一掠而过,既看不到“人造天河”的雄姿,也看不到林县河
    山重新安排后的兴旺景象。银幕上不厌其烦地呈现出来的是零落的田
    地,孤独的老人,疲乏的牲口,破陋的房舍……。他大肆渲染林县“
    农民的贫困”,把一个山村说成是“荒凉和被抛弃的地方”,把一所
    乡村小学竭力加以丑化。安东尼奥尼还恶狠狠地说,在今天的中国,
    “如果我们想发现一个农村‘天堂’,那就天真了”。这不是赤裸裸
    地诬蔑解放了二十多年的中国农村是人间地狱吗?
    这部影片对我国社会主义建设事业的诋毁和污蔑是多方面的。从
    城市建设到人民生活,从文化教育到体育运动,从医疗卫生到计划生
    育,以至幼儿园,统统不放过。
    影片完全无视我国城市面貌的巨大变化,渲染北京“依然是个古
    老的城市”,住屋“非常简陋”,“城市规划化令人失望”;苏州“
    同它的古老的面貌差异很小”;上海城市面貌的改变,不过是昔日“
    西方的经济帝国”在租界修建的房子“今天成了办公楼”。
    影片竭力否认我国人民生活条件的显著改善,说什么“北京人是
    贫穷的,但并不悲惨”。承蒙这位导演先生手下留情,还说我们不算
    悲惨;但他的真意是嘲笑我们“贫穷”。他不是在城市和乡村拚命捕
    捉一些镜头,攻击人们“衣服破旧”,“劳动繁重”,诬蔑在中国到
    处都可以遇到“穷人”吗?所有这些完全是一副帝国主义老爷的腔调

    安东尼奥尼所以把解放后的中国描绘成这样一团漆黑,一无是处
    ,这也不行,那也不行,无非是要人们得出中国不应当进行革命的反
    动结论。他攻击人民公社经历了“失望”,胡说无产阶级文化大革命
    “打乱了生产系统”,使前人遗留下来的古迹已剩下“寥寥无几”,
    甚至借用打太极拳的镜头,造谣说“新的领导人”要“取消”这一“
    古老的传统”。总之,在安东尼奥尼这个反动分子看来,中国的社会
    主义制度不好,中国的革命搞糟了,只有倒退,只有复旧,才有出路
    。这就充分暴露了挂着“左派”招牌的安东尼奥尼的反革命真面目。
      (二)
    安东尼奥尼为了诋毁中国革命,攻击我国的社会主义制度,在影
    片中对中国人民的形象和精神面貌进行了令人不能容忍的丑化。他企
    图通过影片制造这样的假象,似乎中国革命并没有改变中国人民的地
    位,没有使中国人民在精神上得到解放,而中国人民对社会主义制度
    也是没有热情的。
    全世界都看到,已经站起来了的中国人民,精神面貌发生了巨大
    变化。“中国劳动人民还有过去那一副奴隶相么?没有了,他们做了
    主人了。”在我们的国家,“从来也没有看见人民群众象现在这样精
    神振奋,斗志昂扬,意气风发。”但是,安东尼奥尼却把中国人民描
    绘成愚昧无知,与世隔绝,愁眉苦脸,无精打采,不讲卫生,爱好吃
    喝,浑浑噩噩的人群。为了丑化中国人民,他挖空心思地拍摄坐茶楼
    、上饭馆、拉板车、逛大街的人们的各种表情,连小脚女人走路也不
    放过,甚至于穷极无聊地把擤鼻涕、上厕所也摄入镜头。在林县,安
    东尼奥尼突然闯入一个山村,把摄影机对准那里的群众,当群众反对
    他这种手段时,他就诬蔑群众的反应是“有的恐惧,有的害怕”,“
    经常是麻木不仁和毫无表情”。安东尼奥尼大摆其“欧洲人的自傲”
    的架子,处心积虑地往中国人民脸上抹黑,这是对站起来的中国人民
    的莫大侮辱!
    更刻毒的是,安东尼奥尼还用拐弯抹角的语言、含沙射影的手法
    来向观众暗示,中国人民的精神是受压抑的,心情是不舒畅的,对现
    实是不满的。他在上海城隍庙茶楼的画面中插入了一句不怀好意的旁
    白:“这里的气氛稀奇古怪”,“既想念过去,又忠于现在”。他在
    这里说的所谓“忠于现在”不过是一句反话,实际上是要诬蔑中国人
    民对新社会的拥护是出于被迫的,并非真心实意。安东尼奥尼不是在
    影片中一再渲染中国人民是不自由的吗?他公然嘲讽工人讨论会的发
    言“重复而单调”,“不是一个真正的讨论会”,诬蔑中国儿童高唱
    歌颂毛主席、共产党的“政治性”歌曲同他们的天真可爱不相容,因
    而并非发自内心。他还胡说由于人们的“谨慎”“使人几乎觉察不到
    他们的感情和痛苦”。在他看来,中国人民是有着不满现实的莫大“
    痛苦”的,只是不敢表达出来而已。这完全是一派胡言。在我们这个
    无产阶级专政的社会主义国家里,人民当家作主,政治局面生动活泼
    ,广大人民享受着真正的民主,心情无比舒畅。安东尼奥尼企图钻空
    子,煽动中国人民对新中国和社会主义制度的不满,只能是枉费心机
    。感到“痛苦”的则是一小撮妄想在中国复辟地主买办资产阶级专政
    的反动派。至于说什么中国人民“想念过去”,这更是污蔑。什么人
    “想念过去”?中国人民对百年魔怪舞翩跹的“过去”,是深恶痛绝
    的,只有帝国主义分子及其在中国的代理人,才念念不忘他们失去了
    的“天堂”,朝朝夕夕梦想使中国倒退到半封建半殖民地的境地。但
    是,历史的车轮是拉不回来的,任何企图开倒车的人,必将被历史的
    巨轮辗得粉碎!
      (三)
    安东尼奥尼拍摄影片《中国》所采用的手法,也是极端反动和卑
    劣的。
    在镜头的取舍和处理方面,凡是好的、新的、进步的场面,他一
    律不拍或少拍,或者当时做做样子拍了一些,最后又把它剪掉;而差
    的、旧的、落后的场面,他就抓住不放,大拍特拍。在整个影片中,
    看不到一部新车床,一台拖拉机,一所象样的学校,一处热气腾腾的
    建设工地,一个农业丰收的场景……。而他认为可以用来污蔑中国和
    中国人民的东西,则又是全景,又是特写,不厌其冗长。影片在拍摄
    南京长江大桥时,故意从一些很坏的角度把这座雄伟的现代化桥梁拍
    得歪歪斜斜,摇摇晃晃,还插入一个在桥下晾裤子的镜头加以丑化。
    影片关于天安门广场的描绘更是十分可恶。它不去反映天安门广场庄
    严壮丽的全貌,把我国人民无限热爱的天安门城楼也拍得毫无气势,
    而却用了大量的胶片去拍摄广场上的人群,镜头时远时近,忽前忽后
    ,一会儿是攒动的人头,一会儿是纷乱的腿脚,故意把天安门广场拍
    得象个乱糟糟的集市,这不是存心污辱我们伟大的祖国吗!
    在影片的剪接上,画面跳来跳去,好象是东拉西扯,杂乱无章,
    其实每一个片段的衔接,都是恶意安排的。比如,影片拍摄者先是向
    观众介绍十三陵地下宫殿陈列馆中反映明朝劳动人民受压迫和进行反
    抗的泥塑群象,讲述当时农民的生活是如何的悲惨,然后镜头一转,
    就出现一队青年学生扛着铁锹下乡参加劳动的情景,再转到中阿友好
    人民公社,用一位女社员在劳动中擦汗的镜头,来宣扬什么“日常的
    田间劳动是劳累繁重的”,并且叫嚷中国农村没有“天堂”!这种手
    法分明是影射今天中国农民的境遇比几百年前封建社会的农民好不了
    多少。
    影片在光线和色彩的运用方面也是很坏的。影片的大部分都以灰
    暗的光线和阴冷的色调拍摄。黄浦江象笼罩着浊雾,北京的街道被抹
    上一层青光,林县的山村阴影重重。总之,许多画面给人以惨淡、凄
    凉、阴郁、冷酷的印象。尤其恶劣的是,影片摄制者还利用配乐作为
    进行诽谤的手段。他在影片中没有拍过我国一个革命样板戏的镜头,
    却拿样板戏的一些唱段肆意嘲弄。当响起《龙江颂》中江水英唱“抬
    起头,挺胸膛”时,画面上出现的竟是猪摇头的动作。据有关单位揭
    露,这种剪接完完全全是伪造的。这是蓄意污蔑我们的革命样板戏,
    攻击我们的文艺革命,真是恶毒透顶!
    安东尼奥尼对中国人民怀有敌意,这从他在中国的拍摄活动中也
    可以得到证明。他在解说词中公开宣扬有很多镜头是象间谍那样偷拍
    的。他得意地说,他在黄浦江如何“冲破禁令偷偷地拍摄了”中国军
    舰;在北京的王府井大街如何“把摄影机掩盖住”,“冷不防地抢摄
    这里的生活场面”。他还埋怨说“带着摄影机在前门大街那里行走是
    不方便的”。什么不方便?就是做贼不方便。更有甚者,他为了炮制
    污辱中国人民的镜头,在北京中阿友好人民公社,竟然要别人制造社
    员打架的场面,让他拍摄;在另一个场合,他还要群众按照他的口味
    改换服装,否则拒绝拍摄。他的这种偷拍、强摄、作假的行径,本身
    就是对中国人民的极大的不尊重和藐视。
      (四)
    反华影片《中国》在国际舞台上的出现,决不是一个偶然的孤立
    的事件,而是有它的国际背景的。
    近些年来,我们面临的国内外形势越来越好,毛主席的革命外交
    路线取得新的更大胜利,我国的国际影响日益扩大。帝国主义和社会
    帝国主义妄想孤立中国、颠覆中国的阴谋遭到可耻的破产。但是,我
    们的敌人对于他们在中国的失败是不会甘心的。攻击中国革命,污蔑
    社会主义新中国,就是他们妄图在中国实现反革命复辟,使中国重新
    沦为殖民地半殖民地的一种舆论准备。
    人所共知,苏修叛徒集团是国际上反华的急先锋和总后台。从赫
    鲁晓夫到勃列日涅夫,都使出浑身解数,对中国人民极尽污蔑、攻击
    之能事。他们说,中国人穷得喝大锅清水汤,连裤子都没得穿;无产
    阶级文化大革命使中国的生产力遭到“新的破坏”;中国人民“疲困
    不堪”,处在“严重的苦难”之中,过着“兵营式的生活”,等等。
    可是,所有这些愚蠢的诽谤,只是暴露了苏修叛徒们的丑恶面目,而
    没有使他们捞到任何东西。在今天的世界上,苏修的反华谎言已经没
    有多少市场了。正是在这种情况下,安东尼奥尼的反动影片披着“客
    观”、“真实”的外衣来欺世惑众,又把苏修这一套造谣诬蔑搬出来
    ,妄图起苏修反华宣传所不能起的作用。安东尼奥尼实际上不过是充
    当了已经破产的苏修反华宣传的应声虫。
    安东尼奥尼的反华影片《中国》出笼之后,美国广播公司花了二
    十五万美元重金购进这部影片,并在美国公开放映,还有人帮腔说这
    部反动影片是“吸引人的”。看来,杜勒斯的阴魂仍然附在一些美帝
    国主义分子的身上,安东尼奥尼的反华影片的出现,也适应了这些反
    动势力的需要。
    安东尼奥尼是一个意大利人,但是,他决不能代表千百万对中国
    人民抱着友好态度的意大利人民。反华,这是广大意大利人民决不会
    同意的。安东尼奥尼拍摄这样的反华影片,同意大利人民和中国人民
    要求加强友好关系的愿望,显然完全背道而驰。
    中国人民一贯主张发展同各国人民的友好往来和互相了解。在同
    各国人民的交往中,我们从不强求别人接受自己的观点。我们一再指
    出,中国还是一个发展中的社会主义国家,尽管我们的社会主义革命
    和建设已经取得巨大成就,但是从不隐讳我们的国家还存在着前进中
    的缺点,还有落后、反动的东西,需要继续革命。毛主席经常提醒我
    们,要反对大国沙文主义。我们欢迎各国朋友对我们的工作提出批评
    。但是,谁要是冒充“朋友”而实际上却干着卑鄙的反华勾当,去博
    取极端仇视中国的帝国主义和社会帝国主义的喝采,我们就要给予彻
    底揭露,以剥夺其招摇撞骗的资本。只有这样做,才有利于各国人民
    的互相了解和友好往来。
    安东尼奥尼的反华影片告诉人们,在目前国际国内的大好形势下
    ,必须继续保持清醒的头脑,任何时候都不要忘记,世界上总有敌视
    中国人民的势力,还存在着尖锐复杂的斗争。这是不以人们意志为转
    移的。当然,反华也没有什么了不起。一切反华的好汉,不管是大人
    物还是小人物,不管使用什么武器,玩弄什么手法,都只能是搬起石
    头打自己的脚。中国人民将坚定地沿着社会主义道路奋勇前进。正如
    我们伟大领袖毛主席早就说过的:“让那些内外反动派在我们面前发
    抖罢,让他们去说我们这也不行那也不行罢,中国人民的不屈不挠的
    努力必将稳步地达到自己的目的。”

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  3. @keisaat

    Where in his writings does it explicitly say he wants China to be colonized? I believe what Liu wants is a China that is modeled entirely on the West, and his 300 years of colonization quote is really more to illustrate “that’s what it would take” rather than “that’s what we should do”. And being Chinese-Canadian, I can tell you there are extremist Muslims here who believe Islam should dominate Canada. The CBC even did an interview with one. Of course even the most liberal Canuck disagrees with them, but the difference is they were not jailed. If they were, it’d be human rights this and free speech that all over the place. That’s the problem with Beijing’s decision is that they turned Liu into a martyr by putting him in prison. The correct response should have been to leave him and downplay the whole thing, Nobel prize included.

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  4. Me: “Pug_ster might as well be suggesting that the constitution is itself a subversive document and that the Chinese government need not obey its own laws.”

    Pug_ster: “I did not ‘suggest’ this. So stop making straw man’s arguments.”

    Yes, Pug_ster, you did. You have asserted that Charter 08 is subversive, even treasonous. As much of Charter 08 is taken directly from the China’s own constitution, it logically follows that the constitution is then also subversive. Similarly, if public dissemination of Charter 08 is to be considered a crime, then shouldn’t sales of China’s consitution also be considered a crime?

    Pug_ster: “What the freak is 1984 have to do with this? What sort of ‘cognitive dissonance’ do I have?”

    Interesting diction, Pug_ster. Cognitive dissonance is when a person attempts to believe two or more mutually conflicting ideas simultaneously (e.g., “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”) In most people, such contradictions lead to mental discomfort of the sort that compels them to find ways to reduce dissonance (usually by changing their thinking). Some people, however, are apparently immune to the discomfort produced by cognitive dissonance (you?).

    You simultaneously assert that the Nobel committee is both concerned with all that “freedom of speech crap” in China’s constitution AND unconcerned with Chinese law. THAT is a big, fat example of cognitive dissonance, Pug_ster. If the constitution is the foundation of the Chinese legal system, and the Nobel committee is as concerned with the constitution as you seem to believe, then how can it be that the committee is also unconcerned with Chinese law? It just doesn’t make sense. If the Nobel committee is concerned with the Chinese governmnent’s apparent failures to uphold the values expressed in China’s constitution, then they must also be concerned with upholding Chinese law. You can’t have one without the other.

    Essentially, Pug_ster, you find no value in China’s constitution. You are a Party man. When you dismiss as “crap” all talk of constitutional protections, you reveal yourself as someone who has clearly aligned himself with those in power who reject the idea that there should be limits to their power. Without a meaningful constitution there can be no strong system of laws. Likewise, without a meaningful system of laws, the Chinese people will always be at the mercy of their government. Serve the People? What a sorry joke. Fuck the People is more like it.

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  5. In all my years living in Hong Kong, I have yet to meet a single person who feels that Hong Kong is not part of China. However, I have yet to meet a single person who is not glad that Hong Kong was a British colony at a time when the rest of China was a complete mess. (Most continue to believe that the mainland is still a mess.) Hong Kongers are quite a bit less dismissive of colonialism because the alternative to colonialism for Hong Kong would have been CCP rule, poverty, famine, and isolation. There are many Chinese patriots here in HK, but most are far less impressed with the Party than their mainland compatriots. No one here is eager to be governed directly by Beijing.

    I lived for years in Beijing. During that time, many people expressed views about colonialism very similar to those expressed by Liu Xiaobo. More importantly, most mainland Chinese that I’ve spoken to are quick to concede that Hong Kong would not be what it is today if not for British colonialism. If Liu is a traitor, so are tens of millions of other mainland Chinese.

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  6. @ keisaat: Who’s assuming? I’ve read plenty of Liu’s works, just not any of the essays you’re referring to. I didn’t go look them up because “Tianya” is a ridiculously broad forum to try to sift through and you gave me nothing — no titles, no dates, no links. It may shock you to learn that I have a job and life outside of this blog, and am not interested in spending hours wading through mindless bullshit on Tianya in the hopes that I may come across some mythical essay that proves Liu Xiaobo wants China to be colonized.

    Based on the evidence I’ve seen, there’s little indication Liu wants China to be colonized. If there’s evidence out there that contradicts that, I’d surely consider it, but I’m not going to waste time looking for it, just like I wouldn’t if you told me that unicorns were real and that you had definitely seen one once somewhere in the southern hemisphere.

    At least give me something solid to go on (like, the title of an essay or where it was published IRL) rather than just indicating that there “are essays” somewhere on one of the worlds biggest bbs forums.

    Addendum: regarding the “disparaging Chinese people” as a way to make a point impact more forcefully in the public discourse, yeah, I think exaggeration can be an OK rhetorical tactic (exaggeration of one’s own opinions, mind you, not facts).

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  7. YWX,

    Yes, Pug_ster, you did. You have asserted that Charter 08 is subversive, even treasonous. As much of Charter 08 is taken directly from the China’s own constitution, it logically follows that the constitution is then also subversive. Similarly, if public dissemination of Charter 08 is to be considered a crime, then shouldn’t sales of China’s consitution also be considered a crime?

    You are making straw man’s comments about me. I said that Constitution (and C Custer agreed) is never absolute as in the yelling fire in the theater example. That’s why there’s laws which amends to the constitution and it is normal where laws which challenge the constitution. Liu Xiaobo’s rant in the Charter 08 rant is that he totally ignored China’s laws. Read what I wrote about before making false arguments.

    As for your arguments, you should stuck about talking more about the topic and less about me because you don’t know much about what I or most other Chinese people think.

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  8. Pug_ster: “You should stuck about talking more about the topic and less about me because you don’t know much about what I or most other Chinese people think.”

    1) The title of this post is “Dumb Arguments About Liu Xiaobo.” As I see it, Pug_ster, since you’re the one making all the dumb arguments, this post is really about you.

    2) Don’t let my superior English fool you, Pug_ster, I’m as Chinese as you are. If I can’t claim to speak for most Chinese, then neither can you. At least I hope you can’t. Indeed, if most Chinese share your worldview, we’re all in big, big trouble.

    Pug_ster: “You are making straw man’s comments about me.”

    3) Unlike you, I’ve actually read Charter 08 in its entirety. In addition, I’ve also read the relevant parts of China’s constitution. As I’ve said before, if Charter 08 is a subversive document, then various clauses of the constitution must also be considered subversive. No straw men, Pug_ster. I’ve read your comments. You can’t fart and then expect people not to say that you stink. Take responsibility for what you wrote.

    4) Contrary to your earlier assertion, Liu Xiaobo, et al. were very specific regarding their demands. In any case, Charter 08 was never meant to be a founding document of any sort; rather, it was meant to foster discussion concerning future political reform. It’s troubling, Pug_ster, that after several weeks, you have yet to read Charter 08 in its entirety. I honestly don’t understand how you or anyone else can take your opinions seriously when you remain so fundamentally ignorant of the basic facts surrounding the issue. It seems that NOT reading Charter 08 has become a matter of pride for you. That’s sad.

    5) In the end, Charter 08 is a very modest document. Compare it to speeches and essays written by China’s early 20th century revolutionaries and Charter 08 looks downright timid. The CCP erred badly here. Handing Liu an 11-year sentence for essentially being the first to sign such a cautious document was a mistake that will haunt Beijing for years to come. So too, threatening the Nobel committee was astonishingly ham-fisted. Say what you will about Liu Xiaobo’s feeble contributions to furthering world peace, he is now a very powerful symbol. One need only to read recent editorials denouncing the Nobel committee in the Global Times (Chinese edition) and China Youth Daily to understand just how much this has stung the Party. For those of us who care about free speech in China, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be the gift that keeps on giving.

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  9. YWX,

    I take responsibility for what I wrote and I don’t take responsibility for what I didn’t write. And since you make alot of false assumptions of what you think I wrote, I am not going to comment on them.

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  10. YWX–“The title of this post is “Dumb Arguments About Liu Xiaobo.” As I see it, Pug_ster, since you’re the one making all the dumb arguments, this post is really about you.”

    My sentiments exactly. How I wish that stupidity was a banishable offense here at China Geeks. Where’s Gan Lu when you need him? Loved the beat down that he’s been giving Pug_ster recently.

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  11. Comments from Gan Lu, YWX and vleung is probably what you get on the other spectrum. Others like Fallows have a less disparaging remark like saying these dumb arguments are “exaggerated and distorted.” People who cares less about listening to people with ‘unpopular ideas’ rather than having frank discussion. Instead these people chose to shout down the people who are introducing these ‘unpopular ideas.’ Other people like vleung thinks that it is good idea to banish people who introduce these ‘unpopular ideas.’ Isn’t that some kind of censorship? Personally I view these guys no better than those CCP nuts wants censorship. That’s what I find it sad.

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  12. Pug_ster: “Comments from Gan Lu, YWX and vleung…[p]eople who cares less about listening to people with ‘unpopular ideas’ rather than having frank discussion.”

    Again, Pug_ster, the topic of this post is “Dumb Arguments About Liu Xiaobo.” In other words, it’s about the arguments that people like you make when discussing the subject of Liu Xiaobo and his Peace Prize. In the court of public opinion (at least insofar as China Geeks is able to represent public opinion), your ideas are considered dumb–i.e., less worthy of serious consideration than other, smarter ideas. This isn’t about having a “frank discussion” with an open-minded person who has something interesting and informed to say. On the contrary, such discourse is impossible to have with someone such as you. You are closed-minded and defiantly ignorant, Pug_ster. Gan Lu was banished for calling YOU a “f*cking idiot” and expressing the hope that you have no children. Had he limited his comments to attacking your IDEAS as “f*cking idiotic,” Charles likely would have allowed him to stay. You see, Pug_ster, ideas, like hats, come in many shapes, colors, and sizes. Some are attractive and keep you warm in the winter, and some are ugly and threadbare. Like the ugly, threadbare hat, your ideas get little respect because they are worthless and repulsive. In fact, the more you write in defense of your ideas, the easier it is to view you, and not just your ideas, as dumb.

    Perhaps you should just give it a rest, Pug_ster. You’ll find little love for your brand of nonsense this far away from Fool’s Mountain.

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  13. @Pug_ster: I agree with everything YWX has said to you.

    When the CCP changes its mind and rehabilitates Liu (and maybe even implements political reform!) are you going to pretend you didn’t say any of this and blindly support them then, too?

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  14. YWX,

    In fact, the more you write in defense of your ideas, the easier it is to view you, and not just your ideas, as dumb.

    Sorry, troll. From your rant, if you are so personally offended of what I have to say and have to resort to insults (like viewing me as dumb), perhaps you are too emotional for a rational discussion.

    As for some of you who maintains Liu is innocent, I respect your opinion. But from the verdict of him that Joe Posted, I believe that he is guilty of subversion.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/multimedia/2010/10/ai_weiwei_chinas_regime

    I think there’s a big difference between of what Ai Weiwei and Liu Xiaobo are doing. Ai Weiwei is more of a free thinker and broader reflection of the issues in the Chinese society as a whole and criticize why the Chinese government is a part of the problem. While I may not agree with him 100% he does make a point. Liu Xiaobo’s Charter 08 just criticize the Chinese government, period.

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  15. Nevermind arguing about Liu’s morals or the merit of his argument. A far more damning criticism I can level at him is his irrelevance.

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  16. I oppose the arrest of Liu Xiaobo on principal, that stupidity, real or percieved, should not be silenced, but, rather, combated, and that the Chinese Communist Party are wrong on this point, but Oslo giving him the Nobel Prize is not because of his merit as a ‘political dissident’, rather, it is because they want to take the oppertunity to say ‘Fuck you’ to China, as the award to Obama was just a giant ‘Fuck you’ to Mr Bush and his party- that is is completely motivated by their political leaning and taking an oppertunity to rekindle their hatred and envy of China.

    Argument one-
    So what if he said that in 1988, or if he said that five days ago, he said thus- he openly advocate imperialism, and his actions of the present does not invalidate his action of the past, unless he has openly retracted his statments. Likewise, why do people not quote his work? Because almost no one read them, I will assume not even his fellow intellectuals and those august personages who crown him with laurels, and canonise him with pomp and pagentry.

    Argument two-
    It is thus argued that, because he can do what he wills in America, it is thus that he should be able to do the same in China- but, he isn’t govern by American laws, but by Chinese laws, and it is by Chinese laws that he is sentenced. It is, then, lawful that he is arrested- you may disagree with the morality and ethics of his arrest, but it remains lawful.

    Argument Three-
    That is a completely dogmatic argument on your part based upon your perception of what is and not how things actually are. The Chinese Government is striving for those ideals, as you should certainly know, but, all in all, his advocation was not in the manner of ‘let’s have them through the process’ but ‘let’s destroy the process in order to attain them’. It is akin to saying ‘let’s destroy the American Government so that we can equalate employment and payment and end such descrimination in the work place.’

    Therefore, while I disagree with Mr Liu imprisonment, I also disagree with giving an award based upon dissidence that would, in many other nation, be only slightly more tolerated- think of it as Mr Chomsky being awarded that prestegious award for speaking out against what he percieves to be America’s great Imperalism, Coperatism, and overall evilness. In addition, it serves no other purpose than to say, ‘Hey, China, FUCK YOU!’ just as Mr Obama’s award was to spite Bush and the Conservatives of America. Poor decisions on the part of the Nobel Prize awarders, like this and the previous, serve only to discredit the once Prestigious prize as a political tool to reflect their beliefs and bias.

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  17. “Again, I don’t think he should be jailed, but there is a strong point to be made that his thinking is quite anti-Chinese tradition, which has been the intellectual mainstream in China since the early part of the 20th century.”

    A clarification, the intellectual current nowadays is less anti-tradition than before, but anti-tradition remains strong.

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  18. To the author of this blog:

    First of all, I do think it is wrong for the Chinese government to jail Liu Xiaobo. However regarding your point on the 300 years of colonial rule, Liu did restate that opinion in this 2006 piece in the same magazine where he did his original interview back in 1988. He indicates that the 300 years of colonial rule represents the “most extreme expression of my unchanged belief till this day.” In this article, he also indicates that the reason for China’s economic success is due to Westernization, and her current political state is also because of her refusal to Westernize. Of course, Liu is simplifying things here, as Westernization means many things, and modern Western liberalism represents only one, albeit the most successful, of the many political traditions and thinkings from the 17th century onward.

    http://www.open.com.hk/0701p26.html

    You should also read the following exchange between Liu and Ren Bumei, another Chinese tradition critic:

    http://www.boxun.com/hero/liuxb/1_4.shtml

    (the whole article is a bit long, I only included the link from a part of the discussion)

    As for your assertion:

    “Yes, of course, some of these ideas have their origins in the West, but there’s plenty of precedent for a belief in fundamental freedoms and human rights in China’s native traditions, too (this will be the subject of a future post at some point”

    I am not sure Mr.Liu himself would agree with you, whether your argument has historical validity or not. Again, I don’t think he should be jailed, but there is a strong point to be made that his thinking is quite anti-Chinese tradition, which has been the intellectual mainstream in China since the early part of the 20th century. And Liu is simply a part of that tradition.

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