US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged China to release Liu Xiaobo, who is at present serving an 11-year sentence for inciting subversion. Washington has a clear intention in making this appeal on the same day as this year's Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony and the UN Human Rights Day.
Liu was arrested in 2009 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize one year later. He has since then been singled out by the West as one of the representative human rights activists of China. In defiance of China's judicial sovereignty, Western countries keep making an issue of Liu's case to attack China's human rights record.
This year, as Chinese people mourned the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, some Western media deliberately cast a light on the imprisonment of Liu and praised him as "China's Mandela."
Mandela was a Nobel Peace Prize laureate for leading African people to anti-apartheid victory through struggles, tolerance and efforts to bridge differences. However, awarding a Chinese prisoner who confronted authorities and was rejected by mainstream Chinese society derides China's judiciary system.
Liu went through a strict legal procedure. This system makes sure a society of 1.3 billion people runs smoothly. It will not make an exception for Liu under the pressure or appeal of the West. The US, in hopes of seeing China's legal system crashed by the combined force of globalization and the Internet, is labeling extreme views of activists of the country as free speech. But only the Chinese law has the final say as to whether a person has violated its law or not.
A sense of superiority in their political system causes the West's prejudice against other non-Western political systems. It is becoming clearer to the Chinese public that preaching on human rights from the West emphasizes their selfish geopolitical interests.
China needs to continue efforts in improving human rights conditions and it needs to deepen political reforms. We should listen to helpful suggestions from the West but we do not want interference in our domestic affairs.
As a matter of fact, the influence of the West making use of the human rights issue in China is diminishing. China in recent years has been on its own path and model to promote human rights and the rule of law.
In the process, we call on the West to give more respect to our judicial independence, human rights and political progress.