Chinese pro-democracy activists against Nobel for Liu Xiaobo

Fourteen Chinese dissidents and the Chinese Communist Party have finally agreed on something: Liu Xiaobo should not get the Nobel Peace Prize. While Chinese authorities have found his pro-democracy work worthy of 11 years of prison time and have made it clear to Norway that his victory would not be in its best interests, a ...

ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/Getty Images
ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/Getty Images
ANTONY DICKSON/AFP/Getty Images

Fourteen Chinese dissidents and the Chinese Communist Party have finally agreed on something: Liu Xiaobo should not get the Nobel Peace Prize. While Chinese authorities have found his pro-democracy work worthy of 11 years of prison time and have made it clear to Norway that his victory would not be in its best interests, a group of overseas Chinese dissidents found Liu to be "unsuitable" for the award because they believed he has not adopted a strong enough line against the ruling Communist Party:

In a letter, the signatories accused Mr. Liu...of maligning fellow activists, abandoning persecuted members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and going soft on China's leaders.

"His open praise in the last 20 years for the Chinese Communist Party, which has never stopped trampling on human rights, has been extremely misleading and influential," they wrote.

Fourteen Chinese dissidents and the Chinese Communist Party have finally agreed on something: Liu Xiaobo should not get the Nobel Peace Prize. While Chinese authorities have found his pro-democracy work worthy of 11 years of prison time and have made it clear to Norway that his victory would not be in its best interests, a group of overseas Chinese dissidents found Liu to be "unsuitable" for the award because they believed he has not adopted a strong enough line against the ruling Communist Party:

In a letter, the signatories accused Mr. Liu…of maligning fellow activists, abandoning persecuted members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and going soft on China’s leaders.

"His open praise in the last 20 years for the Chinese Communist Party, which has never stopped trampling on human rights, has been extremely misleading and influential," they wrote.

Chinese dissidents against Chinese dissidents? The New York Times accurately notes that the letter is symptomatic of the Chinese dissident community throughout the world, a "fractured group beset by squabbling and competing claims of anti-authoritarian righteousness." Well, it wouldn’t be the first time exiled dissidents haven’t gotten along.

Jared Mondschein is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.

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