|By Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant|
Os esforços do Governo Chinês para ocultar as notícias sobre o Prémio Nobel da Paz atribuído a Liu Xiaobo foram em vão. Com efeito, Liu Xiaobo é notícia por toda a China e, em especial pelos jovens, o seu manifesto “Carta 08″ — um manifesto assinado por 303 intelectuais e activistas dos direitos humanos, de múltiplas profissões e depois por outras oito mil pessoas, com o objectivo de promover reformas políticas na China — está novamente a ser distribuída por todo o país. Aos jovens juntaram-se alguns membros mais antigos do Partido Comunista Chinês, que também pedem por mais liberdade e democracia:
[...] Young people have been disseminating the subversive document, including secretly stuffing copies of the Charter into bookstore shelves. When Xia asked his students if they knew who had won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, hundreds of them said yes, he says. “Only a handful hadn’t heard anything about it.” [...]
The party itself is no longer immune, either: Twenty-three elderly comrades around Mao Zedong’s former personal secretary, Li Rui, submitted an open letter to the National People’s Congress, China pseudo-parliament, in the beginning of October. “Abolish censorship and realize citizens’ rights to freedom and freedom of the press,” it read. [...]
Nobody knows what exactly is behind this initiative by the third most powerful man in the Chinese administration. Is it an attempt by an old man to go down in history as a reformer, like the liberal late party leader Hu Yaobang, whose legacy has been officially hushed up — and whom Wen has frequently mentioned of late?
It’s important to remember that when Chinese functionaries talk about “democracy,” they often mean something different than Western politicians. They are at most referring to the right to elect village mayors or have a say in the selection of party cadres, rather than freedom of the press or an independent judiciary.