Who is Liu Xiaobo?

English.news.cn   2010-10-28 14:16:16 FeedbackPrintRSS

BEIJING, Oct. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, has triggered people's interest in who he is.

Liu, born in 1955, was a worker in his youth. He got his master's degree in 1984 and began working as a teacher at Beijing Normal University. He got a doctorate degree in 1988. He attracted attention when he criticized some famous people.

In an interview by a Hong Kong based-editor, Liu said that Chinese people's tragedy is not caused by "several fatuous emperors," but "every Chinese person", since the Chinese people created a system that caused their own tragedy.

Liu said that China needed to be a colony for 300 years to have a "real change". He then said that knowledge levels have nothing to do with academic degrees and most Chinese university students and graduate students were "garbage".

Liu showed great respect and praise for the Western political, economic and cultural systems. "I don't care you call me a traitor or a patriot. If you say I am a traitor, then I am. I am the ungrateful child digging out the graves of his ancestors, and I am proud of being such a child," he said.

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".

Liu said he felt ashamed of being Chinese and that if his English were better he would cut his ties with China. He even felt ashamed to mention the word "China". He even said that China should be separated into 18 regions.

After the severe political turmoil of 1989, Liu was detained by police for his agitation activities. He pleaded with the police and wrote a confession paper in which he expressed his regret and wish to be "useful for the nation and people". Due to his good attitude, the government spared him criminal punishment. However, Liu returned to his old ways in 1991 and was sent to a labor camp for disturbing public order.

Paid by foreigners

Since the mid-1990s, Liu Xiaobo began working for the Democratic China magazine, financed by the National Endowment for Democracy, which is funded by the US government, and has been paid regularly. Aboluowang.com, an overseas news website, published an article saying Liu's salary was $23,004, or 157,600 yuan, according to the exchange rate at that time. Even while he is in prison, Liu got 13,000 yuan every month.

In addition, Liu made money by writing articles for overseas media, criticizing the Chinese government. He also got money from doing interviews with overseas media and the various "prizes" given by western countries. Life is rather comfortable for him. An overseas media outlet found his house "elegantly decorated, and the shelf on the wall is filled with expensive porcelains".

"I'm not like you. I don't lack money. Foreigners pay me every year even when I'm in prison," said Liu to his fellow prisoners.

Liu has always proclaimed himself to be a righteous man who participates in "civil rights movement" out of a Chinese citizen's sense of urgency, responsibility and mission. But do his acts match his words?

Doesn't Liu chase after fame? "Even if they do not receive material rewards, those who dare to speak the truth on major public events will receive praise for justice, especially that from grassroots of the Chinese mainland and mainstream international society, and they will gradually rise to fame and public influence," Liu said when receiving the so called "Outstanding Contributor to Democracy Award" in 2003. Liu has been bad-mouthing his own country and his own nation for payment from the West, such as "human rights prize", "democracy contributor prize", and so on.

Doesn't Liu chase after wealth? Let himself speak for this. "The reasons why I deliver speeches are: first, I feel good about myself; second, I need to make money. I won't deliver a speech if I'm not paid fair enough for every hour I speak. Money is a kind of self-evaluation. Your life is opened up to the extent of the amount of money you make.

"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.

Those who are familiar with Liu know he is extreme and arrogant. He took part in founding an illegal organization called Independent Chinese Writer Club to form his own clique and press down on dissenters, thus making many enemies within the "Chinese democracy activists" circle and was sued in the United States for embezzlement. As a result, many Chinese "democracy activists" overseas are not happy with him.

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Editor: Mo Honge
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