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Fate of a peaceful man in a cruel country

“I hope I will be the last victim of China’s long record of treating words as crimes.”

In 2009, Liu Xiaobo was about to be sentenced for incitement to subvert state power, according to the July issue of The Economist.

Liu had been outspoken concerning an event at Tiananmen Square. The world noticed his character, one unafraid of speaking the truth, and that China has a virulent history of outrageous human rights violations.

Many years ago, I hosted a female student from a local college. To attend the college, she had to appear in front of a communist community cohort that investigated and challenged her reasons for wanting to study in our country. She told me that her mail going back to her husband and family would probably be scanned for material unacceptable to the community that sent her here, She struggled with her studies and received a “C” in a class for lack of participation.

Do not be fooled by the extravagant reception given to President Trump on his recent visit or the smiling greetings from China’s president. China is not our friend.

China appears to have limited influence on North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. Its flagrant encroachment of man made islands in the South China Sea only affirms its goals of militarizing that area. The islands are not resorts.

But there was a man who spoke out, and for that he received the Nobel Peace Prize. In prison, he was afflicted with liver cancer, but was refused treatment using advanced medical resources.

There is no free speech, no idle criticism of China. The Nobel committee said he never should have been imprisoned to begin with.

How many of us could be so undaunted? And how fortuitous that we do have free speech.

In Mr. Liu’s closing arguments he said, “Hatred could poison an entire country.” And did they ever hate him. He was a peaceful man in a cruel country.

We must learn from his integrity to call out wrong when we see it. The question is, will we?

Linda Anna Gregg

James City County

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