Opsamling: Liu Xiaobo er død

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Liu Xiaobo døde den 13. juli. Her får du en opsamling med reaktioner, kommentarer, nekrologer, analyser og nyheder.

Du kan begynde med at læse mere om Liu Xiaobo på Kinablog, hvor du kan se alle artikler med Liu. Her får du overblikket med seks spørgsmål og svar om Liu Xiaobo, hans arbejde og hvorfor han fik Nobels Fredspris.

Du kan også læse et brev og et digt, som hans hustru, digteren Liu Xia, skrev til Liu Xiaobo i 2013. Hende har jeg også interview med her, som er lavet kort før kommunistpartiet satte hende i husarrest.

Endelig er der en opsamling med hele forløbet om hans leverkræft.

Liu Xiaobo døde den 13. juli, og i Hong Kong gik folk på gaden for at mindes ham:

Et af de store spørgsmål var, hvor Liu Xiaobo skulle begraves. For kommunistpartiet ville ikke risikere, at hans gravsted blev et symbol over Liu eller kampen for demokrati. Løsningen blev, at Liu Xiaobo blev kremeret og hans aske spredt på havet. Uanset hvad familien og Liu Xia så måtte synes om det. Derfor var vreden da også forståelig blandt Liu Xiaobos venner, som man kan læse her i denne glimrende artikel i Guardian:

“This is too evil, too evil,” the exiled author Liao Yiwu, a close friend, told the Guardian after the details of Liu’s cremation and sea burial emerged on Saturday afternoon. “They are a bunch of gangsters.”

Mo Zhixu, another friend and activist, said: “The regime must be insane. They have done the worst thing you could have possibly imagined.”

The artist Ai Weiwei said he suspected authorities had decided to bury Liu at sea to deny his supporters “a physical memorial site” at which to pay homage to him and his ideas. “It is a play,” he said. “Sad but real.”

Censuren i Kina var skarp, så man for eksempel i søgemaskiner og sociale medier ikke kunne søge på “begravelse på havet”.

Men alligevel nåede Liu Xiaobos død ud på nettet i Kina:

Da Liu Xiaobo skulle kremeres var sikkerheden også massiv, og krematoriet var skarpt bevogtet, som man kan læse i denne reportage fra AFP:

A group of plainclothes officers appeared like ghosts from behind tombstones next to the crematorium where the body of China’s most prominent dissident was rumoured to have been taken after his death.

It was a lot of security for a place that may not even have held Liu Xiaobo’s body, offering a reminder of the government’s determination to make sure that reporters remained far away from the Nobel laureate and his family — even in death.

Financial Times har en fin nekrolog over Liu, hvor der er flere citater fra ham. Blandt andre dette:

“Tyranny is not terrifying,” Liu wrote. “What is really scary is submission, silence, and even praise for tyranny. As soon as people decide to oppose it to the bitter end, even the most vicious tyranny will be shortlived.”

Men i Vesten bøjer regeringer sig på stribe for Kina. Selvom Liu Xiaobo skal sammenlignes med for eksempel Nelson Mandela, er han stort set blevet tiet ihjel i Vesten. Hvilket – ud over mig selv – har undret mange:

En af de absolut bedste nekrologer, der er skrevet over Liu, er i New York Review of Books og forfattet af hans tidligere ven Perry Link. Samtidig er den også en politisk analyse af Kina:

Liu Xiaobo has been compared to Nelson Mandela, Václav Havel, and Aung San Suu Kyi, each of whom accepted prison as the price for pursuing more humane governance in their homelands. But Mandela, Havel, and Suu Kyi all lived to see release from the beastly regimes that repressed them, and Liu Xiaobo did not. Does this mean his place in history will fall short of theirs? Is success of a movement necessary in order for its leader to be viewed as heroic?

Perhaps. It may be useful, though, to compare Liu Xiaobo and Xi Jinping. The two were separated in age by only two years. During Mao’s Cultural Revolution both missed school and were banished to remote places. Xi used the time to begin building a resume that would allow him, riding the coattails of his elite-Communist father, to one day vie for supreme power; Liu used the time to read on his own and learn to think for himself. One mastered the skullduggery and sycophancy that a person needs to rise within a closed bureaucracy; the other learned to challenge received wisdom of every kind, keeping for himself only the ideas that could pass the test of rigorous independent examination. For one of them, value was measured by power and position; for the other, by moral worth. In their final standoff, one “won,” the other “lost.” But two hundred years from now, who will recall the names of the tyrants who sent Mandela, Havel, and Suu Kyi to jail? Will the glint of Liu Xiaobo’s incisive intellect be remembered, or the cardboard mediocrity of Xi’s?

En anden glimrende nekrolog, der giver et godt og nuanceret billede af ham som person, er skrevet af Tania Branigan i Guardian. Her beskriver hun også, hvordan Liu blev gift med hans hustru, Liu Xia:

It was in a labour camp, in 1996, that he married the poet Liu Xia. Her devotion sustained him and – painfully aware of his shortcomings in his first marriage – he was a very different husband the second time around. He took enormous pride in his wife’s talents.

“Your love has been the sunlight that leaps over high walls and shines through iron bars,” he said in a statement at his trial in 2009. “My love for you … is so full of remorse and regret that it at times makes me stagger under its weight.”

Se også denne videonekrolog på Wall Street Journal:

Liu Xia er digter men også fotograf. Der har været flere udstillinger i udlandet medhendes fotos af Liu Xiaobo:

Og netop hans hustru, der ikke har begået nogen forbrydelser, men som partiet har holdt i husarrest de seneste syv år, er det spørgsmål, som mange for eksempel menneskeretsgrupper nu fokuserer på:

Nicholas Kristof kalder Liu Xiaobo for “vor tids Mandela“, og spørger, om de vestlige ledere vil gøre for Liu Xia, hvad de ikke gjorde for Liu Xiaobo:

Will Western leaders speak up for her? I fear not, any more than they forcefully spoke up for Liu Xiaobo himself.

If the way Liu died is an indictment of China’s repression, it also highlights the cravenness of Western leaders who were too cowed to raise his case in a meaningful manner. President Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg at the G-20- summit and did not even let the name Liu Xiaobo pass his lips. For shame, all around.

På The New Yorker sætter bladets tidligere Kinakorrespondent, Evan Osnos, Liu ind i en historisk kontekst:

Liu’s case now takes its place in the history books in a manner that does a disservice to the ordinary men and women of China: he is the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die under confinement since Carl von Ossietzky, a German pacifist and an opponent of the Nazis, who died in 1938. Liu and von Ossietzky already shared a prize-related distinction—neither had been allowed to receive their Nobels in person—and their pairing on the pages of history is both correct and tragic: Liu’s countrymen are not Nazis, but his government neglected every opportunity to rescue him, or to avoid allowing itself and its people to be tarnished by the comparison.

Spørgsmålet er selvfølgelig, om politikere i Vesten og Danmark tør at forsvare de værdier, som de påstår at have:

Og svaret er – næppe. Penge og arbejdspladser kommer før værdier, demokrati og menneskerettigheder, som The Economist skriver i nekrologen over Liu:

Western governments have a long history of timidity and cynicism in their responses to China’s abysmal treatment of dissidents. In the 1980s, as China began to open to the outside world, Western leaders were so eager to win its support in their struggle against the Soviet Union that they made little fuss about China’s political prisoners. Why upset the reform-minded Deng Xiaoping by harping on about people like Wei Jingsheng, then serving a 15-year term for his role in the Democracy Wall movement, which had seen protests spread across China and which Deng had crushed in 1979?

The attitudes of Western leaders changed in 1989 when Deng suppressed the Tiananmen unrest, resulting in hundreds of deaths. Suddenly it was fashionable to complain about jailing dissidents (it helped that China seemed less important when the Soviet Union was crumbling). From time to time the government would release someone, in the hope of rehabilitating itself in the eyes of the world. Western leaders were grateful. They wanted to show their own people, still outraged by the slaughter in Beijing, that censure was working.

By the mid-1990s China’s economy was booming and commerce consigned dissidents to the margins once again. In the eyes of Western officials, China was becoming too rich to annoy. The world’s biggest firms were falling over themselves to enter its market. America, Britain and other countries set up “human-rights dialogues”—useful for separating humanitarian niceties from high-level dealmaking. The global financial crisis in 2008 tipped the balance further. The West began to see China as its economic saviour. Earlier this month leaders of the G20 group of countries, including China’s president, Xi Jinping, gathered in Germany for an annual meeting. There was not a peep from any of them about Mr Liu, whose terminal illness had just been made known.

I forlængelse af det er der denne kronik på CNN, som slår en sløjfe på The Economists argument om Vestens rolle over for Kina:

Since the financial crisis of 2008, China has grown in economic power and diplomatic self-confidence, while the West has been consumed in a vortex of its own internal squabbles and anxieties. Western countries have spent the years, fretting over the immigration and extremism resulting from almost two decades of constant warfare, and split by social and political division to a degree not seen in perhaps half a century. All of this anxiety manifested itself in such events as President Trump’s election and the Brexit decision.

To say the West has ceded global leadership suggests that there is a country to which it has ceded it. China, for its part, pretends to have taken that role, speaking out on issues such as climate change and free trade.

But every time China looks like it might be succeeding in taking its place on the world stage as a mature and confident global player, some internal issue — such as its treatment of Liu, or the government’s ongoing campaign against civil rights lawyers, or the extra-territorial abductions — will demonstrate just how unprepared, and how insecure, China’s leaders are.

It will be of some comfort to Beijing that, despite the expressions of grief and outrage at Liu’s passing, they will as usual be able to ride out this news cycle until the world’s attention moves on.

Opsamling: Liu Xiaobo døende af leverkræft

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Liu xiaobo liu xia hospital kræft

Her får du en kronologisk opsamling med analyser, kronikker, portrætter og nyheder, der er skrevet om Liu Xiaobo siden det i slutningen af juni kom frem, at han har dødelig leverkræft.

Det er, som du kan se, især fra tweets, som jeg har lavet på @kimrjensen og @kinablog.

Liu Xiaobo fik konstateret sin leverkræft i maj. Men det var først i slutningen af juni, at det blev offentligt:

Og hvem er så Liu Xiaobo, spørger mange. Med god grund:

Her er den engelske oversættelse af det politiske manifest, som Liu Xiaobo i 2009 blev idømt 11 års fængsel for at være medforfatter til:

I Ian Johnsons glimrende artikel er der også oversættelser af Liu Xias digte:

Hu Jia, der tidligere har modtaget Sakharov-prisen fra EU parlamentet, og er en af de få åbenmundede aktivister, der stadig er tilbage i Kina, har udtalt sig ofte til de vestlige medier om sin kræftsyge ven. Her til NRK:

God analyse i Aftenposten med den norske sinolog Harald Bøckman:

– Myndighetene har, i egne øyne, bare gjort det som er rett, sin plikt. At han er blitt syk, er hans egen feil. Slik er dessverre kinesisk logikk når man har behov for å unndra seg ansvar, sier en opprørt Bøckman, som selv har vært utestengt fra Kina siden 2008.

Han tror ikke løslatelsen får noen betydning for den politiske debatten i Kina, i hvert fall ikke med det første.

– De har klart å isolere ham så godt opp gjennom alle disse årene at det ikke vil få noen innenrikspolitiske følger. Men kanskje en gang, langt inn i fremtiden, kan det bli en del av et politisk oppgjør som gir Liu Xiaobo en slags rehabilitering. Men jeg er redd det ligger langt frem, sier Bøckman.

Her er udtalelsen fra den norske Nobelkomite, der understreger hvordan Kina har fængslet en mand på grund af hans tanker:

Liu Xiaobo has fought a relentless struggle in favour of democracy and human rights in China and has already paid a heavy price for his involvement. He was, essentially, convicted for exercising his freedom of speech and should never have been sentenced to jail in the first place. Chinese authorities carry a heavy responsibility if Liu Xiaobo, because of his imprisonment, has been denied necessary medical treatment.

Liu Xiaobo har været præsident for det kinesiske PEN. Der er ingen udtalelse fra danske PEN, men her er den fra foreningen i Sverige:

Att Liu Xiaobo har frigivits villkorligt och fått vård är ett framsteg, men vi står fast vid kravet på ett fullständigt frikännande. Domen mot honom strider mot den Internationella deklarationen om mänskliga rättigheter. Med tanke på den orättvisa behandlingen av honom i Kina, bör han få lämna landet och söka vård utomlands, om detta är vad han önskar.

Det er politisk mord og lige det, som Kinas ledere håbede på, siger Hu Jia, ven med Liu og fremtrædende aktivist, i den britiske avis Guardian. Der er flere gode citater fra lige så gode kilder:

Zhang Xuezhong, a legal scholar and human rights activist, said Liu had been a symbol of hope for many years.

“It’s known that Liu Xiaobo and his family have made a tremendous sacrifice for the cause of freedom and democracy for China,” said Zhang. “This is unfortunate news for him and his family, and it’s a blow to China’s democracy movement, as so many people have placed hope in him, and rightfully so.”

Det er ikke sket siden Nazityskland i 1938, at en modtager af Nobels Fredspris er død i fangenskab:

Freedom Now har 154 Nobelprismodtagere skrevet et åbent brev til Kina og blandt andre den amerikanske præsident Donald Trump:

On Thursday, U.S.-based rights lawyer and activist Jared Genser said 154 Nobel laureates had called for Liu to be allowed to travel to the United States for medical treatment.

Genser, who has acted as a lawyer for Liu in the past, said in a statement that the laureates made their request in a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. ambassador to China Terry Branstad.

“We urge the Chinese government on humanitarian grounds to grant Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia’s wish to travel to the United States for medical treatment,” Sir Richard Roberts, 1993 laureate in Physiology or Medicine, wrote in the letter on behalf of the laureates.

Stærkt og personligt essay i China Heritage af Geremie R. Barmé om sin ven Liu Xiaobo:

But Xiaobo? Tears blind me as I write. Xiaobo: diagnosed who knows when, treated now with cynical and calculating precision, the kind of precision that keeps the high-speed trains of the People’s Republic running on time. A cynicism synchronised so that this dastardly year in which Xi Jinping will duly, daresay humbly, accept a second five-year term as party-state Chairman of Everything can unfold without a political hitch. A diagnosis that, perhaps, will allow a little more time to a man who has been robbed of so much time over this quarter of a century. How did his wife, Liu Xia, put it? Her words break my heart and assault the decency of every thinking person in the world: ‘Can’t operate, can’t do radiotherapy, can’t do chemo.’

Den norske sinolog Torbjørn Færøvik er i denne kronik i VG træt af de uansvarlige norske politikere og deres mangel på kritik af Kina:

Politikere plikter å arbeide for samarbeid mellom nasjoner. Vi bør også samarbeide med Kina, for det er riktig som det ofte sies, at en rekke globale utfordringer bare kan løses gjennom dialog. Samtidig er det viktig at politikere og andre har en kritisk distanse til et land som Kina. I motsatt fall kan resultatet bli katastrofalt, ikke minst for et lite og sårbart land som Norge.

Siden forholdet mellom Norge og Kina ble «normalisert» i desember i fjor, har viktige norske aktører reist i flokk og følge til det nye Klondyke i øst. Ikke bare politikere og direktører, men også påfallende mange universitets- og høgskolerektorer. Alle er kommet høystemte hjem, for de har gått på røde løpere og sett den nye verden på nært hold.

Som forventet afviser Kina, at man ikke har behandlet Liu Xiaobo, som myndighederne anser for at være en kriminel, ordentligt. Og Udenrigsministeriet bruger som så ofte før sætningen om, at Kina er en retsstat, som Jiayang Fan skriver i The New Yorker:

In response to a statement from the United States Embassy calling for the couple to be given “genuine freedom,” the Chinese foreign ministry warned that “no country has a right to interfere and make irresponsible remarks on Chinese internal affairs.” It added that “China is a country with rule of law, where everybody is equal in front of the law.”

This is a curious remark, given the increasingly repressive regime that the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has fostered since taking office, in 2013. Civil society and the rule of law were part of what Liu campaigned for more than a decade ago, but, as unlikely as those concepts seemed then, they are less certain now. After a period of enforced ideological conformity, the government has expanded its security apparatus, increased censorship, tightened its control of nongovernmental organizations, and toughened surveillance laws. Rights lawyers and activists have been arrested and jailed, and others have fled abroad.

Utallige lande og menneskeretsorganisationer som for eksempel Amnesty har opfordret Kina til at løslade Liu og også lade ham komme i behandling i udlandet, som han ønsker:

Hvis du mener, at EU skal sige fra over for USA, så skal det også sige fra over for Kina, mener Natalie Nougayrède i denne kronik i Guardian:

Like Nelson Mandela and Andrei Sakharov in their time, Liu is a symbol of the struggle for dignity and human rights across the world, not just in his own country. His bravery is indisputable, his cause is universal, and his plight is scandalous.

Nicholas Kristof skriver en stærk kronik i New York Times:

You won the Nobel Peace Prize and are the Mandela of our age, but with a horrifyingly different ending. While Nelson Mandela eventually became South Africa’s president, you were recently moved from a Chinese prison to a hospital where you remain under guard. Your wife says your liver cancer is inoperable, and the Chinese government cruelly refused to allow you to go abroad for treatment to try to save your life.

I’m writing this open letter partly to appeal to President Xi Jinping to allow you to travel for treatment. But I’m also writing this because I think we in the “mature” Western democracies have a lot to learn from you.

As a journalist, I see so much spin, preening, hypocrisy — but in your prison cell, you embody democratic values more honestly and passionately than the leaders of our democratic countries.

Den kinesiske kunstner Ai Weiwei kritiserer også de kinesiske myndigheders behandling af Liu Xiaobo, som han siger i dette interview i Guardian:

“I think the government should release him. This is a historic mistake,” Ai told the Guardian from Berlin, where he now lives.

“The government should just release him and have a better record – because this is going to be remembered by the whole world … what they are doing.

“They [must] admit that this was a horrible mistake … to sacrifice the best people in this nation – the best minds in this nation – and to put them in such a horrible situation. That is what they continue to do now and it is unacceptable.”

I Washington Post skriver Emily Rauhala, at man først og fremmest bør interessere sig for Liu Xiaobo på grund af det, han har at sige. Læs ham, opfordrer hun til:

Liu understands that words live. “I hope to be the last victim of China’s endless literary inquisition, and that after this no one else will ever be jailed for their speech,” he wrote in the 2009 statement that was read in Norway before the empty chair.

“Freedom of expression is the basis of human rights, the source of humanity and the mother of truth. To block freedom of speech is to trample on human rights, to strangle humanity and to suppress the truth.”

So, instead of looking at pictures of Liu Xiaobo in hospital, read him. Read “June Fourth Elegies,” a book of poetry, and Charter ’08, the political manifesto that got him thrown in jail. Read what was read in Oslo the night he won the Nobel Peace Prize and what he wrote his wife.

I New York Times er der interviews med flere af hans venner som også forklarer, hvorfor myndighederne ikke vil frigive Liu selvom han er døende:

“They want everything to be controllable, and if he went abroad, he would lie beyond their control,” Cui Weiping, a retired professor of Chinese literature and friend of Mr. Liu, said from Los Angeles, where she now lives. “This has always been the purge approach for dealing with dissidents — minimize their influence so they don’t become a focus.”

Og kineserne skal passe på med, hvad de skriver om Liu Xiaobo:

I Guardian kan du læse den personlige fortælling om kærligheden mellem Liu Xiaobo og Liu Xia:

Like many friends, he suspects Liu Xiaobo’s determination to escape China – after a lifetime refusing to abandon his country and his cause – is more about rescuing her from persecution than the hope that treatment abroad might help extend his own life. “Liu Xia has suffered for the sake of Liu Xiaobo’s dream. And now Liu Xiaobo has given up his insistence [on staying in China] for the sake of Liu Xia,” Ye Du said.

“I think many people find it hard to understand how they have kept faith in their love despite being tortured by an authoritarian regime … They are amazing.”

Kinablog flytter hjem: Status efter 9 år som korrespondent

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Så er Kinablog tilbage. Endda helt tilbage. I efteråret flyttede jeg til Danmark og her fra nytår stoppede jeg som korrespondent i Kina efter 9 år i Beijing og Hong Kong.

Det er jeg i øvrigt også så heldig at have fået lov at tale om på Kina Snak på Radio 24-7, hvor jeg blev interviewet af Lene Winther og gjorde status på årene i Kina. Det kan du lytte til sidst i programmet.

Og helt tilbage er jeg nu ikke. Jeg er stadig på barsel nogle måneder endnu, så indtil da vil der kun være sporadiske opdateringer herinde. Men jeg er så småt tilbage ved tastaturet henne på Facebook og Twitter. Stay tuned.

Link: Kinesiske mænd og deres valnødder

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Hvad er der med de valnødder der? Overalt i for eksempel Beijing kan man se især mænd, der har to valnødder, som de drejer rundt i hånden. Jeg kan også huske en taxachauffør, som under hele turen næsten ikke ville skifte gear og kun havde én hånd på rattet, fordi han sad og drejede på sine to slidte valnødder (no pun intended). Og de er faktisk så populære, at priserne på valnødder er steget siden 2008. Austin Dean har skrevet en fin baggrund om det hele her på Los Angeles Review of Books.