Liu Xiaobo, the renowned writer and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died of cancer this past July while serving an 11-year prison sentence in the People’s Republic of China for the crime of “inciting subversion of state power.”
A Chinese patriot and fearless critic of the Communist Party, Liu was arrested in 2008 for his leading role in Charter ’08, a powerful appeal for nonviolent action by the Chinese people to replace the PRC’s Leninist system with a civil democracy based on rule of law and human rights. Liu’s great hope was that China would democratize and be a force for peace and stability in the world. He also warned that if the Communist Party did not permit democratic reforms, it would be ruinous for China and the PRC would become a threat to liberal democracy globally as well as to peace in Asia.
To consolidate his power in advance of the Communist Party’s 19th Congress later this month, President Xi Jinping has been running an intense campaign of suppression against advocates of constitutionalism, rule of law, and human rights. On October 12, Hudson Institute convened a panel to remember Liu Xiaobo and discuss his ideas and the prospects for peaceful political change inside Xi’s PRC.