vendredi 21 juillet 2017

Criminal Nation

After a Famed Prisoner Dies in China, Taiwan Fears for Another

Pictures of Lee Ming-cheh, left, a rights advocate from Taiwan, and Tashi Wangchuk, an education advocate from Tibet, during a commemoration last month in Taiwan of the 1989 pro-democracy crackdown in China. Both men are in Chinese custody. 

TAIPEI, Taiwan — For many in Taiwan, the death in custody last week of the Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo had double relevance.
It was a reminder of how much Taiwan — but not China — has changed politically since the late 1980s, when both were one-party, authoritarian states.
On Saturday, Taiwan, now a full-fledged democracy, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the end of four decades of martial law
On Tuesday, at the opening of the first Asian bureau of Reporters Without Borders, an organization that advocates press freedom, Wu’er Kaixi, a leader of the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing, dedicated a moment of silence to Mr. Liu, while praising Taiwan’s progress.
But the death of Mr. Liu, who was serving an 11-year prison sentence for his role in Charter 08, a manifesto for peaceful political change, also deepened concerns over the fate of Lee Ming-cheh, a human rights advocate from Taiwan who went missing after his arrival in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong in March.
More than a week passed before Chinese officials announced that Mr. Lee had been detained. 
In April, Mr. Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu, was blocked from entering China, where she said she hoped to take him his blood-pressure medication. 
In late May, Mr. Lee was officially arrested on a charge of “subverting state power.”
It has not been lost on Mr. Lee’s family and friends, or the news media in Taiwan, that the charge he faces is similar to the one brought against Mr. Liu, of “inciting subversion of state power.”
Hours after Mr. Liu’s death, Taiwan’s state-owned Central News Agency reported that the governing Democratic Progressive Party had issued a statement calling on China to release Mr. Liu’s widow, Liu Xia, who was placed under house arrest in 2010, as well as Mr. Lee.
Comparing the plights of Mr. Liu and Mr. Lee, a commentary this month in a Taiwan newspaper, Liberty Times, asked: “Will Lee Ming-cheh be the next Liu Xiaobo?”
“What’s similar is that Lee Ming-cheh and Liu Xiaobo were both arrested for the crime of ‘subversion of state power,’” it said. 
“What’s different is that Liu Xiaobo is Chinese, whereas Lee Ming-cheh is Taiwanese. After Lee Ming-cheh entered prison, will he ‘get sick’ or be forcefully ‘sickened’? This deserves attention.”
Nongovernmental organization workers from Taiwan who travel to China should remain on a high state of alert, the commentary added. 
“You absolutely do not want to become the next Lee Ming-cheh,” it said.
In a letter to The Washington Post published on Sunday, Stanley Kao, Taiwan’s envoy to the United States, also connected the cases.
“Mr. Liu’s lifelong beliefs are the core values we live by in Taiwan, namely an abiding respect for human rights and due process of law,” Mr. Kao wrote, adding that China should immediately release Mr. Lee.
Beijing severed official communication channels with Taiwan in the fall after it became apparent that President Tsai Ing-wen, who took office in May last year, would not bow to Chinese pressure to endorse the “1992 consensus,” which holds that China and Taiwan agree there is “one China” — with each side reserving its own interpretation of what that means. 
Beijing has insisted that self-ruled Taiwan is part of its territory, and it has not renounced the use of force to achieve unification.
That has left the Tsai administration with limited tools to press Beijing for information about Mr. Lee. Ms. Tsai — one of the first government leaders to issue a statement mourning Mr. Liu’s death — has taken to her Twitter account to call for Mr. Lee’s release.
If history is any guide, progress on Mr. Lee’s case is unlikely in the coming weeks. 
The Chinese Communist Party is preparing for its 19th Party Congress this fall, a meeting that will determine the leadership lineup under Xi Jinping for the next five years and influence the succession beyond that. 
In the jockeying for power, concessions to Taiwan could be interpreted as a sign of weakness.
Eeling Chiu, secretary general of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, has supported Ms. Lee’s efforts to rally international pressure on China to free her husband. 
Ms. Chiu said that there had been no information about Mr. Lee’s situation aside from occasional statements from Beijing, such as the announcement last month that a lawyer had been appointed to represent him.
“We haven’t heard anything new since they announced they’d appointed him a lawyer,” she said in an interview, dismissing the gesture as “fake.” 
“We don’t even know who the lawyer is. If you’re trying to provide for the rights of someone involved in legal proceedings, getting in touch with their family is one of the most basic things you should do.”
The Tsai administration says it will continue to work on Mr. Lee’s behalf. 
“The government is doing everything it can to secure Mr. Lee’s release as soon as possible,” Alex Huang, the spokesman for the presidential office, said on Tuesday.

Criminal Nation

Malala condemns China over death of fellow Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo
By Paul Carsten

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai 
ABUJA -- Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai condemned China's treatment of her fellow peace prize-winner Liu Xiaobo following his death of liver cancer in custody last week.
Liu, 61, was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for "inciting subversion of state power" after he helped write a petition known as "Charter 08" calling for sweeping political reforms in China.
Liu's incarceration meant he was unable to collect his Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, and he became the second winner of it to die in state custody, the first being Carl von Ossietzky in Germany in 1938. Liu's wife Liu Xia remains under effective house arrest.
"I condemn any government who denies people's freedom," Yousafzai, 20, a Pakistani education activist who came to prominence when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head in 2012, told Reuters at a school in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri.
"I'm hoping that people will learn from what he (Liu) did and join together and fight for freedom, fight for people's rights and fight for equality," she said.
Yousafzai's trip to Nigeria was aimed at raising awareness of education problems in Africa's most populous country where over 10.5 million children are out of school, more than anywhere else in the world.

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai speaks during an exclusive interview with Reuters in Maiduguri, Nigeria.

The issue is felt more severely in the mainly Muslim north. 
The south has over the decades seen greater investment and a system of schools started by Christian pastors affiliated with British colonists.
Nigeria needs to "increase spending on education and they need to make it public, the rate of spending planned and how much they're spending," said Yousafzai. 
Since her first trip to Nigeria three years ago, the proportion of the budget allocated to education has dropped from above 10 percent to around 6 percent, she said.
The eight-year Islamist insurgency of Boko Haram, whose name roughly means "Western education is forbidden," has compounded problems with education in Nigeria's north.
The militants have destroyed hundreds of schools and uprooted millions, forcing them into refugee camps which often lack the most basic necessities, let alone decent schooling.
On Monday, Malala called on Nigeria's acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, to call a state of emergency for the country's education.
"Nigeria in the north has been suffering through conflicts as well and extremism," she said.
"So it is important in that sense as well that they prioritize education in order to protect the future."

Democratic world must stand united after Liu Xiaobo's death

Dissident's passing serves as chilling reminder of China's human rights record

A vigil for Liu Xiaobo is held outside the Chinese consulate in Sydney on July 14. 
One of the great symbols of the struggle for democracy in China has died. 
Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo was unyielding in his fight for the betterment of his country and his passing is a great loss to its citizens. 
He was 61.
A lifelong advocate of nonviolence, Liu continuously called for constitutional democracy in China. He was serving an 11-year prison term for "inciting subversion of state power," and denied access to treatment overseas for terminal liver cancer.
He may have died in hospital, but in essence his life ended behind bars. 
It is unclear whether Liu was provided adequate medical care, and the opaque circumstances raise questions about the responsibility of the Chinese government.
As a literary critic, Liu explored problems stemming from China's long-standing authoritarian rule from a cultural perspective. 
In 1989, he went on hunger strike during the Tiananmen Square protests, and was detained after government troops cracked down on the demonstrators, resulting in numerous fatalities.

In this recent undated handout photo, Liu is fed by his wife, Liu Xia, in a Chinese hospital. He was not allowed to leave the country to receive treatment for liver cancer. 

In 2008, he played a leading role in compiling the "Charter 08" manifesto calling for an end to one-party rule and other constitutional reforms. 
He was sentenced in 2009.
There is now a considerable risk that events in Tiananmen Square are being largely forgotten by many Chinese. 
Students in mainland China are unaware of key events that have been kept hidden from the public. The youth of the world's second-largest economy have little or no knowledge of the contemporary history of their own country.
In 2010, Liu was not permitted to travel to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded while in prison and the image of his empty chair at the ceremony made headlines worldwide.
Reacting angrily to the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which is appointed by the country's government, Beijing placed de facto curbs on salmon imports from Norway. 
Applying pressure on another country over matters such as a peace award by leveraging greater purchasing power is in no way considered acceptable by the international community.
The case of Liu Xiaobo is far from the only example of human rights violations in China. 
In July 2015, human rights lawyers and activists were detained across the country. 
Under Xi Jinping, the Chinese leadership has been even more authoritarian than previous regimes in exercising control over expression and information. 
Under the circumstances, Liu's death is an even more significant loss for the Chinese people.
Successive U.S. administrations have been vocal, and often active, in taking a stand against China's human rights record. 
Since the inauguration of Donald Trump, however, Washington has fallen silent on the matter. 
It is now time for democracies around the world, including Japan and other Asian countries, to unite in decrying human rights violations in China.

Widow of Nobel Laureate Feared ‘Disappeared’

Beijing Should Cease Harassment and Detention of Liu Xiaobo’s Supporters

Liu Xia is shown holding photos of her deceased husband, Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. 

The Chinese authorities should immediately and unconditionally release Liu Xia, the wife of deceased Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, Human Rights Watch said today. 
The government should also stop harassing and detaining Liu’s supporters for commemorating his death.
Since Liu Xiaobo’s funeral on July 15, 2017, following his death from complications of liver cancer on July 13, the authorities have refused to provide information on Liu Xia’s whereabouts, raising concerns that she has been forcibly disappeared.
“Liu Xia has been a prisoner of the state for years simply because of her association with a man whose beliefs the Chinese government cannot tolerate,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. 
“Her forced disappearance since Liu Xiaobo’s funeral heightens concerns about her well-being and safety.”
Liu Xia was last seen in an official photo taken on July 15, in which she and a few relatives are lowering an urn containing Liu Xiaobo’s ashes into the Pacific Ocean at a beach near Dalian, a city in northeast China. 
Since then, her friends and relatives in Beijing have not been able to reach her directly. 
According to international and Hong Kong media reports, on July 19, authorities have forcibly taken Liu Xia for a “vacation” in the southwestern province of Yunnan.
Liu Xia, 61, is a Beijing-based poet, artist, and photographer. 
She has published collections of poems and her photographic works have been exhibited in France, Italy, the United States, and other countries. 
Liu Xia met Liu Xiaobo through Beijing literary circles and married him when he was imprisoned in a re-education through labor camp in 1996.
Since December 2008, when Liu Xiaobo began serving his most recent sentence for allegedly inciting subversion, Liu Xia has been held arbitrarily under house arrest and deprived of almost all human contact except with close family and a few friends. 
Throughout Liu Xiaobo’s hospitalization, which began in June 2017, Liu Xia was prevented from speaking freely to family, friends, or the media. 
She is known to suffer from severe depression and a heart condition.
An enforced disappearance is defined under international law as the arrest or detention of a person by state officials or their agents followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty, or to reveal the person’s fate or whereabouts. 
Enforced disappearances place the victim at greater risk of abuse and inflict unbearable cruelty on family members and friends waiting to learn of their fate.
Since Liu Xiaobo’s death, Chinese authorities have also systematically prevented his supporters from holding commemorative activities. 
On July 18, police detained Dalian-based activists Jiang Jianjun and Wang Chenggang for throwing a bottle with a message to Liu at the beach near where Liu’s ashes were scattered. 
Jiang was later given 10 days’ administrative detention
It is unclear whether Wang has been released. 
Ding Jiaxi, a Beijing-based human rights lawyer, was detained at a Shenyang police station from July 13 to 15 after he protested in front of the hospital where Liu received treatment. 
Beijing police have held activist Hu Jia under house arrest since June 27 to prevent him from going to the Shenyang hospital or participating in memorial activities.
On July 19, as Liu Xiaobo’s supporters in Hong Kong, Melbourne, London, San Francisco, and elsewhere gathered to mark the seventh day of his death, a traditional Chinese memorial rite, police across China called, summoned, or visited activists at their homes, warning them not to join the commemoration. 
Those who have been harassed include Guangzhou-based activist Wu Yangwei (also known as Ye Du), writer Li Xuewen and rights lawyer Huang Simin, Hangzhou-based writers Wang Yongzhi (also known as Wang Wusi) and Wen Kejian, Shanghai-based activist Jiang Danwen, and activist Hua Chunhui, based in Wuxi, a city near Shanghai.
Liu Xiaobo’s death has also prompted new action by China’s internet censors, Human Rights Watch said. 
On the Twitter-like Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, “RIP,” and the candle emoji were censored. 
On WeChat, a social media platform with more than 700 million daily active users, the number of blocked word combinations have significantly increased, and images related to Liu were filtered even in private one-on-one chats, according to a study by the Canada-based organization Citizens Lab.
After announcing Liu Xiaobo’s death on July 13, Shenyang authorities arranged a private funeral that only Liu Xia, a few of Liu Xiaobo’s relatives, and some state security officials were allowed to attend. 
The funeral was followed by a sea burial.
Authoritie imposed these on the family to prevent having a gravesite that could become a place of pilgrimage for Liu’s supporters. 
Liu’s long-estranged brother, Liu Xiaoguang, later appeared at a government news conference thanking the Communist Party for its handling of Liu’s treatment and funeral.
“Chinese authorities may think they will succeed in expunging all memories of Liu Xiaobo and all he stood for,” Richardson said. 
“But in their torment of Liu Xia, their harassment of his friends, and their efforts to silence his supporters, all they do is inspire greater adherence to those ideas.”

The death of Liu Xiaobo marks dark times for dissent in China

By Ishaan Tharoor 

It has been a week since the death of Liu Xiaobo, the famed Chinese dissident who was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for Peace while imprisoned.
Late last month, Chinese officials announced that the prominent writer, who had been detained since 2009, was being moved to a hospital to receive treatment for late-stage liver cancer. 
Despite the entreaties of his family, friends and foreign governments, Beijing refused to release him to seek care overseas. 
He died July 13, becoming only the second Nobel laureate to perish in custody (Carl von Ossietzky, an anti-Nazi pacifist, died in 1938).
In a move that sparked the ire of Chinese activists, authorities apparently ensured that his ashes were buried at sea and not on Chinese soil. 
Acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei, who lives in Germany, said the move was aimed at denying Liu’s supporters “a physical memorial site” and that it “showed brutal society can be.”
“It is a play,” said Ai. 
“Sad but real.”

Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, prays as his ashes are buried at sea off the coast of Dalian, China, on July 15.

Indeed, for China’s authoritarian leadership, what Liu represents is all too real. 
The poet and essayist was admired by many among the Chinese diaspora and the international community. 
“He fought for freedom and democracy for more than 30 years, becoming a monument to morality and justice and a source of inspiration,” Wen Kejian, a fellow writer, told my colleague Emily Rauhala.
“Liu Xiaobo was a representative of ideas that resonate with millions of people all over the world, even in China. These ideas cannot be imprisoned and will never die,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in a statement.
Ironically Liu’s legacy and oeuvre are more visible abroad than at home, where even Internet searches of his name are censored and tributes to his life were hurriedly erased from social media.
But what further underscores the tragedy of his life was the nature of his politics. 
Liu was not calling for radical change or an overthrow of the regime. 
The putative reason for his 2009 imprisonment was his co-authorship of “Charter 08,” a manifesto calling for reform and greater freedom of expression within the Chinese system.
“Inevitably, some in the West will think that honoring Liu Xiaobo is an act of offense against China (or, more practically, a potential risk to relationships with the government). That’s a mistake,” wrote Evan Osnos, author of the National Book Award-winning “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China.” 
“Honoring Liu is an act of dedication to China at its best. He was, to the end, unwilling to renounce his principled commitment to China’s constitution — to the freedoms enshrined in law but unprotected in practice.”
Osnos also offered an anecdote from when he met Liu: “If you never had a chance to meet him, it was easy to misread him as a cynic. On the contrary, in person, Liu could be unnervingly optimistic. On that day when I met him, in 2007, at a teahouse near his apartment, he told me that as China became stronger and more connected to the world, he imagined that the ‘current regime might become more confident.’ He went on, ‘It might become milder, more flexible, more open.’ In that prediction, he was, for now, wrong, and he paid with his life.”

People sign their names at a memorial event for late Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo in Hong Kong on July 19. 

“Although the regime of the post-Mao era is still a dictatorship, it is no longer fanatical but rather a rational dictatorship that has become increasingly adept at calculating its interests,” Liu once said in 2006, in another illustration of his optimism about the capacity for change.
“In calculating those interests, the regime has decided that it was safer to turn Liu into a dead martyr than to allow his ideas to spread unchallenged,” wrote Jamil Anderlini of the Financial Times
“This conclusion is probably correct in the short term. Thanks to the party’s efforts, the vast majority of Chinese people have never heard of Liu and most of those who have heard of him think he was a hopeless troublemaker. His death will not spark a revolution.”
Under Xi Jinping, the invasive, authoritarian control of the ruling government has expanded, while the space for civil society has contracted. 
Dissent and critical expression have been chilled, and it seems increasingly clear that Chinese officials aren’t bothered by censure from abroad.
“What is really important isn’t so much that the party is tightening its control — that is happening anyway,” noted Steve Tsang of the Chatham House think tank in London. 
“What is more important is that the party is not that worried about how the Liu Xiaobo case affects international opinion.” 
A budding global hegemon, China can withstand the clucking of outside powers over its human rights record.
It also doesn’t help that there is an American president who has explicitly argued against fighting for universal values and rights elsewhere. 
On the day of Liu’s death, Trump happened to hail Xi as a “terrific” and “talented” leader.
“It is especially shameful that Donald Trump praised Xi Jinping at the moment when Liu Xiaobo was dying,” said Teng Biao, a Chinese human rights lawyer living in exile in the United States. 
“Xi Jinping is not a respectable leader. He is a brutal dictator.”
Western countries have adopted a policy of appeasement,” said Hu Jia, a prominent dissident who served more than three years in prison, to the New York Times. 
“The Communist Party has the resources to whip whomever they want.”
Hu, who still faces regular surveillance from police, offered an ominous warning: “Some have turned to believe in violent revolution. It makes people feel the door to a peaceful transition has closed.”

jeudi 20 juillet 2017

Despair for Cause of Democracy After Nobel Laureate’s Death


A memorial to Liu Xiaobo in Hong Kong this week. In mainland China, attempts to pay tribute to Mr. Liu, a Nobel Peace laureate, have met with censorship and arrests. 

BEIJING — For years, the fiery band of activists pushing for democracy in China looked to Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Nobel Peace laureate, as a source of inspiration. 
They created social media groups devoted to his iconoclastic poetry. 
They held up his photos at rallies, demanding justice and transparency.
But Mr. Liu’s death last week of liver cancer, after a final, futile attempt by friends to bring about his release, has dealt a withering blow to the pro-democracy movement. 
Some say it is now at its weakest point since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.
“It’s a turning point,” said Yan Wenxin, a human rights lawyer in Beijing. 
“The feeling of powerlessness among activists has peaked.”
Under Xi Jinping, the government has imprisoned dozens of lawyers, journalists and advocates and tightened controls over the internet. 
Now, the ruling Communist Party’s feverish attempts to erase Mr. Liu’s legacy have raised fears that Xi will intensify his campaign against activists pushing for ideas like freedom of speech and religion.
The authorities, wary of turning Mr. Liu into a martyr, have in recent days censored online tributes and arrested activists who have sought to publicly remember him.
The dearth of foreign leaders willing to publicly criticize Mr. Xi has added to a sense of despair and isolation among activists. 
Many say they feel abandoned by the United States in particular, and they worry that Trump will prioritize trade with China at the expense of human rights.
“People are full of sorrow, anger and desperation,” said Zhao Hui, 48, a dissident writer who goes by the pen name Mo Zhixu
“We hope the democratic activists who still remain can keep the flame alive. But bringing about change to the bigger picture might be too much to ask.”

Wu Qiang drove hundreds of miles to be near Mr. Liu as he was dying. Many of Mr. Wu’s fellow dissidents now have a desire to “turn sorrow into strength,” he said.

The passing of Mr. Liu, who preached peace and patience, has provoked debate about the best path toward democracy. 
Many activists argue that more forceful tactics are necessary to counter what they see as unrelenting government hostility. 
Some have pushed for mass protests, while a small number believe that violence is the only option, even if they do not endorse it outright.
“Some have turned to believe in violent revolution,” said Hu Jia, a prominent dissident who served more than three years in prison for his activism and still faces routine surveillance. 
“It makes people feel the door to a peaceful transition has closed.”
Mr. Liu’s allies remain incensed by the Chinese government’s handling of his case. 
Officials disclosed that Mr. Liu, 61, had advanced liver cancer only when it was too late to treat it, prompting accusations that his medical care was inadequate. 
The authorities have also prevented his wife, Liu Xia, an artist and activist, from speaking or traveling freely.
The scrutiny facing government critics is likely to grow even more suffocating in the months ahead.
The Communist Party will hold a leadership reshuffle this fall, at which Xi is expected to win another five-year term and appoint allies to key positions. 
In the run-up to the meeting, the party is tightening its grip on online communications and escalating pressure on critics.
Human rights advocates say that the party appears increasingly hostile toward dissent and intent on quashing even small-scale movements. 
Over the past two years, dozens of human rights lawyers have been jailed and accused of conspiring with foreign forces to carry out subversive plots. 
Xi’s government, wary of grass-roots activism, has also increased oversight of domestic and foreign nonprofit organizations.
Yaxue Cao, an activist who grew up in China but is now based in the United States, said Mr. Liu’s death was “the climax of a long and continuous stretch of ruthless elimination.” 
She recited a long list of critics who had been sidelined since Xi rose to power in 2012, which she said had led to a culture of fear and intimidation.
“The party has been working systematically to block the path forward,” she said. 
“A few hundred or a few thousand activists are nothing for the party.”
Advocates say they were startled that foreign leaders did not speak out more forcefully about the treatment of Mr. Liu. 
While American diplomats called on China to allow Mr. Liu to travel abroad for cancer treatment, Trump did not speak publicly about the case.

The Chinese authorities released this photo of Mr. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, taken as his ashes were lowered into the sea last week. She has been prevented from speaking or traveling freely.

“Western countries have adopted a policy of appeasement,” Mr. Hu said. 
“The Communist Party has the resources to whip whomever they want.”
The Chinese government has defended its treatment of Mr. Liu and accused foreign critics of meddling in its affairs.
While China has seemed less responsive to foreign pressure on human rights issues in recent years, several activists said they thought it was still important for world leaders to speak out.
“We hope the West can maintain its moral position,” Mr. Zhao said. 
“Even though the pressure is not as effective as it should be, it needs to be expressed.”
Despite the government’s efforts to limit dissent, some of Mr. Liu’s supporters say they have emerged more energized in the days since his death. 
They see hope in a middle class that is increasingly outspoken; grass-roots activists who are taking on issues as varied as pollution and forced demolitions of homes; and a generation of young advocates who have taken on causes like feminism and rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens.
“How long can such an approach last before discontent boils over?” said Maya Wang, a researcher at Human Rights Watch in Hong Kong. 
“One only needs to look at the protests, particularly in the countryside, to see the enormous grievances there are out there.”
In the aftermath of Mr. Liu’s passing, his admirers have found ways around the government’s controls on speech to honor him. 
Several supporters uploaded photos of the ocean this week as a tribute to Mr. Liu, whose ashes were spread at sea.
Wu Qiang, a dissident intellectual, drove about 400 miles last week from Beijing to the northeastern city of Shenyang, where Mr. Liu was being treated, to be near him in his final days. 
Mr. Wu, 46, said Mr. Liu’s death had left many of his admirers with a desire to “turn sorrow into strength.”
“On one side is darkness; on the other side is hope,” he said. 
“We need to find a new way forward.”

China's Paranoia

Here’s Why China’s One Belt, One Road Is Doomed To Failure
By George Friedman

One Belt, One Road (OBOR) is China’s ambitious initiative unveiled in 2013. 
In fact, it’s two plans combined to form a larger framework of new trade routes.

The first of these is One Belt (the orange line in the above map). 
It refers to the development of new infrastructure—particularly railroads and highways—to connect China’s interior provinces with Europe by way of Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. 
It’s a tall order, and expectations are low that China would be able to build them.
The bigger problem with One Belt is geopolitical. 
Eurasia is in a state of crisis. 
Central Asia in particular is one of the world’s most politically unstable places. 
The region is a patchwork of states whose borders were drawn to make the countries more easily controlled from Moscow during the Soviet era. 
It is hardly a promising market for Chinese goods.
The other trade route is One Road. 
It’s essentially a new Maritime Silk Road.
This part of the plan is meant to create more Chinese ports in countries along maritime routes. 
Which makes sense: About 80% of global trade by volume and over 70% of global trade by value is conducted by sea, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
So far, One Road has been a mixed bag for China. 
It has secured contracts to build ports in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, but a deal with Bangladesh fell through in 2016 when Dhaka opted for an offer from Japan instead.
From a US perspective, China’s projects along the Maritime Silk Road are overblown. 
Constructing ports will not provide China with permanent bases for Chinese destroyers or armies—the countries in question have yet to agree to host them.
More important, the Chinese navy is still not capable of extended, long-term deployments in countries far from the mainland.
In short, OBOR matters relatively little.
The initiative itself is ill-defined and has done very little for China since it was announced. 
Even if it’s successful, OBOR won't swing the global balance of power
But if OBOR is to be truly transformative, it will have to do what it was meant to do: right the wrong of the Chinese economy. 
Whether it can remains an open question.

Rotten Apple

Apple’s Dangerous Kowtow

Apple announced last week that it will open a data center in Guizhou, China. 
This is a first-of-its-kind action by a major United States tech company since the passage last month of strict new Chinese digital commerce regulations that require foreign companies with operations in China to store users’ data in the country. 
These events could threaten to disrupt the free flow of information over the internet.
The Chinese government claims its new rules will enhance domestic security efforts, providing privacy protections for Chinese nationals while also safeguarding “national cyberspace sovereignty and security.” 
It would be naïve, however, to think of these new regulations as anything but a severe restriction on the right to free information.
China’s claim that the regulation is meant to enhance individual privacy rights is a facade. 
The government wants to quell international competition by raising the barrier to entry for outside players. 
In turn, China hopes to monopolize the market for technology services for its huge domestic consumer market. 
Consider the numbers: China’s 1.4 billion people, many of whom are just now getting access to smartphones and the internet, present a major commercial opportunity for the digital sector. 
Twitter, Google and Facebook together have billions of daily active users, and a hypothetical expansion into China could bring hundreds of millions more users to those platforms, raising their market values by many billions of dollars. 
But these and many other services are already blocked in China, and this new security regulation will only create further hurdles for foreign entry into the Chinese market.
Requiring that any “sensitive data” — a heretofore undefined term — has to be stored on servers that are physically located in China is known as “data localization.” 
China’s localization efforts are hugely problematic for two main reasons. 
First, localization is a tremendously expensive exercise for companies that deal in data, so much so that only the world’s richest firms can afford it. 
Second, a history of snooping by Chinese entities means not only that firms should be wary of the potential for industrial espionage, but also that the Chinese people should be worried about their right to privacy, because the Chinese government may now be able to gain access to their data whenever it desires. 
This is especially true because China has pronounced that if firms wish to transmit data out of China — for example, to other people, governments or overseas data headquarters — the transmittal must clear a security review by Chinese authorities, directly implicating individual privacy and free speech.
China may hope to replace its flailing manufacturing-based economy with one focused more on technology services to bring jobs and business to the nation’s many struggling metropolises, but this is not the way to do it. 
First, as colossal as they may be, data centers rarely result in as many new jobs as locals might expect
But perhaps even more critically, this kind of digital protectionism is unfair to the international community and to the people of China. 
The government’s argument that the regulation will protect privacy is invalid. 
In the world of privacy, there are two threats: corporations and government. 
This regulation will create a system by which firms will try to serve China’s regulators as efficiently as they can. 
The firms that rise to the top in such a system will necessarily have to be close to the Chinese government.
Why, then, was Apple so quick to announce the new Guizhou data center, in effect signaling its compliance with the aggressive new rules? 
It’s simple: Apple hopes to protect its market share in China. 
Many internet companies — like Facebook — stand to be shut out forever under these rules, and smaller companies will avoid the market altogether because they lack the capital to stomach the compliance costs.
The internet is all about openness and seamless sharing. 
Restricting Chinese citizens’ access to online information through arbitrary regulations is an attack on human rights and innovation, and it will disrupt digital commerce around the world. 
The people of China should take note and push for fairer standards. 
But placing a check on China’s industrial policy will require more than just the outcry of Chinese activists.
Indeed, the international community, and particularly the corporate sector, must stand up and hold China accountable. 
Unless we do so now, the government will continue to consolidate and centralize industry, jeopardizing the future of the global economy.

mercredi 19 juillet 2017

Criminal Nation

China murdered Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo: Reporters Without Borders

In this Saturday file photo provided by the Shenyang Municipal Information Office, Liu Xia, wife of jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, holds a portrait of him during his funeral at a funeral parlor in Shenyang in northeastern China's Liaoning Province. The photo shows (from left) Liu Hui, younger brother of Liu Xia, Liu Xia and Liu Xiaoxuan, younger brother of Liu Xiaobo holding his cremated remains.
RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire : “We can clearly state that Liu Xiaobo was murdered by the lack of care.” 

TAIPEI – Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières), which advocates freedom of information around the world, on Tuesday accused Chinese authorities of having murdered Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo by denying him proper medical care during his incarceration.
We can clearly state that Liu Xiaobo was murdered by the lack of care,” RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire told a news conference held to formally launch an RSF bureau in Taipei, the Paris-headquartered media rights watchdog’s first in Asia.
Deloire rejected the claim that Chinese authorities did not know that Liu, who died last Thursday of multiple organ failure related to liver cancer, was seriously ill until just weeks before his death.
He urged democratic governments around the world to work for the release of other political prisoners in China, as well as jailed journalists, before it is too late for them, while he also called for Liu’s widow, Liu Xia, to be freed from house arrest.
If it happens again, he said, it “will be a failure for all democracies and for our own societies.”
Liu Xia was last seen in photographs and a video clip provided by Chinese authorities of her husband’s funeral and sea burial on Saturday.
A Hong Kong-based concern group, the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, quoted an unnamed relative of hers as saying Tuesday that she and her brother have been sent to southwestern China’s Yunnan Province on a “traveling tour” and that she would be allowed to return home in Beijing no earlier than Thursday.
Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, proposed at the news conference in Taipei that Taiwan erect a monument to Liu and designate July 13 as the day to commemorate his death.
“It is our duty to remember who died to make a better life for us,” she said.
Wu’er Kaixi, known for his leading role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests, agreed, saying remembering a person like Liu is “the most humble but important power an individual possesses against tyranny.”
“I call upon the whole world to let each other know that we are determined to remember,” said the Chinese dissident, who serves as a member of the RSF Emeritus Board.
The RSF’s bureau in Taipei will monitor press freedom in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan.
The association said it chose Taiwan due to the self-ruled island’s central geographic location and ease of operating logistics, as well as its status of being the freest place in Asia in the group’s annual World Press Freedom Index ranking.
Praising Taiwan’s strides, Deloire said Monday in a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen, “We hope this ‘freedom laboratory’ will be an example for the rest of the continent, amid a global decline in media freedom.”
“To this end, Taiwan must resist violations of the independence of its journalists, especially those carried out under Beijing’s influence, and must improve its legislation,” he said.
In his remarks Tuesday, Deloire said RSF decided against establishing its first Asian bureau in Hong Kong due to concerns over limits on freedom of speech there and possible surveillance of its staff.
He said the Chinese government, like that in Russia, “wants to set up a new world media order” and “wants to change the world before we succeed to change China.”

Badiucao Launches Global Art for Liu Xiaobo Campaign

China Digital Times

On July 12, as  was in his final hours of life and Chinese authorities had made clear they wouldn’t allow the imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate to go abroad for medical treatment, CDT resident cartoonist Badiucao headed to the public  alley on Hosier Lane in Melbourne, Australia to hang a commemorative poster and “Free Liu Xiaobo” sign. After Liu’s death, the Melbourne-based artist is continuing his “Art for Liu Xiaobo” campaign, calling on his fans and Liu Xiaobo supporters worldwide to take it global. In correspondence with CDT Chinese editors, Badiucao explained the campaign:
7/12, Mr. Liu Xiaobo’s fatal illness has sent me to the Melbourne streets to launch a commemorative poster campaign. After the 13th, the sadness of Xiaobo’s passing and anger with the ruthless treatment from authorities has led me to continue the “posters for Xiaobo” campaign and appeal to society for help. Perhaps art is the best way to pay homage to Liu Xiaobo, a doctor of aesthetics, art can also influence all people around.  
I have created these Liu Xiaobo and  cartoons, which are the main pieces I plan to post on the streets. [Chinese]
On July 12 in Australia I launched a Support Liu Xiaobo  movement (at that time the state of Xiaobo’s illness was getting extremely severe). The entire process was very simple, seek out a legal and local graffiti site, and put up posters of Mr. Liu Xiaobo. This was just for self-expression, but the next day I discovered Melbourne residents had filled the alley with flowers, in one evening what began as one poster in the city center had turned into a corner for investing support and thoughts. Perhaps Dr. [Liu] is feeling comforted in heaven. [Chinese]
Flowers are already filling the alley at the Hosier Lane #LiuXiaobo commemorative graffiti spot.  Tourists were constantly snapping pictures while coming and going, some of them took the initiative to stop for a moment and read the introduction to Liu Xiaobo, some wrote a brief note, some lit a long-life candle.
On July 16, Badiucao thanked his Twitter friends for replicating his efforts at the Sydney University Graffiti Tunnel, and promised to make his art available for more commemorative spaces elsewhere:
Thank you Twitter friends for bringing my #LiuXiaobo and #LiuXia pictures to Sydney University! I look forward to everyone seeing the commemoration! In a short while I will provide poster-making and hanging instructions, I want to bring Xiaobo to more of the world’s cities!
True to his promise, Badiucao has uploaded multi-panel versions of his artwork on Google Drive to be printed and posted in cities around the world in commemoration of Liu Xiaobo. Badiucao also invites other artists to supply their designs for the campaign via Twitter.
So far I’ve already constructed and arranged a set of tutorials available to download, print, and use to friends across the world—I even invite those in China to join in. Use these to establish a commemorative space for Liu Xiaobo. Mr. Liu Xiaobo’s remains are already at sea, but his soul will forever be on this earth. [Chinese]
To start a commemorative space in your city, find a legal graffiti wall, visit Badiucao’s collection of printable posters on Google Drive or Dropbox, and follow his print and paste instructions (in Chinese, or follow similar instructions for wheat-pasting in English). Once the art is hung, take a picture and tweet it to @Badiucao.
You can support Badiucao by buying “Watching Big Brother: Political Cartoons by Badiucao,” available in EPUB and PDF formats. The book covers the early years of Xi’s presidency, from December 2013 to January 2016. No contribution is required, but all donations will go to Badiucao to support his artwork. CDT is also selling merchandise featuring Badiucao’s work in our Zazzle store. See also interviews with the artist by CDTPRI’s The World and Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s RN. Many of his earlier  are available via CDT.