Properly managing dissidents a challenge for China

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/10 22:13:40

Liu Xia, widow of late Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, left China on Tuesday on a flight reportedly heading for Germany. After Liu Xiaobo passed away last year, Western media called for her release claiming that Liu Xia has been under house arrest. But this is not reality.

Liu Xia indeed has been within sight of Chinese authorities over the past year, but definitely not under house arrest. She lives normally in a community in Beijing and is free to meet family and friends, go shopping and play badminton in the training court.

Liu Xia has also had unblocked communication. Those who have her phone number can call freely and the German Embassy in Beijing has called her quite often. Liao Yiwu, a Chinese dissident writer living in Germany, released an audio recording of his call with Liu Xia months ago, in which she seemed to be in a bad mood. But this showed that she wasn't in isolation from the outside.

Chinese authorities have never said "no" to Liu Xia's going abroad. Her departure on Tuesday proved that she is able to choose to leave. It's hoped that the outside world understands China's official attitude from the outcome.

Some Western media outlets have hyped Liu Xia's departure, but this doesn't matter much. Since Liu Xiaobo remains a topic that garners attention, Western media will try anything to hype it, but the attraction they can provide is undoubtedly decreasing.

China has relatively tighter social governance than Western countries. It is a political subject for China to figure out how to effectively manage, yet show tolerance for the dissidents in this country.

What's difficult is to protect their rights, and at the same time, prevent them from exerting too much negative influence on Chinese society. In the internet era, this work meets challenges from all sides, including too much interference of Western forces.

Recently dissidents have been somewhat limited in making their voices heard on public platforms, but they enjoy ample personal freedom under most circumstances. This differs completely from what life was like before the reform and opening up. Today, China doesn't want dissidents to hamper national development, but it never means to persecute them. Yet when Western media report on dissidents in China, some dissidents also like to make a show of it.

As the widow of the most widely known dissident in China, Liu Xia appears to have no interest in being a typical dissident herself. Certain Western forces must exercise restraint and stop taking advantage of her.

The West focuses ardently on dissidents and uses human rights as a geopolitical card, rather than truly caring for China's endeavor to promote human rights.

This bias only invites aversion among Chinese people whenever the human rights issue is raised. The West really needs some self-reflection.
Newspaper headline: Properly managing dissidents a challenge


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