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Chinese Nobel Winner's Wife Detained 289

Posted by timothy
from the cutting-off-prime-source-of-nobel-gossip dept.
suraj.sun writes with word (snipped from CNN) that censoring the news of Liu Xiaobo's Nobel prize wasn't enough for the government of China; now, Liu's wife "has been detained in her apartment in Beijing, China, and is not allowed to see people or use her telephone, a human rights group citing her attorney said Sunday. The woman, Liu Xia, has not been charged with a crime, said Freedom Now, a US-based group. 'Liu Xia is under enormous pressure,' said Dr. Yang Jianli, a member of Liu Xiaobo's defense team and a human rights specialist with Freedom Now. 'We hope that world leaders will immediately condemn this shameful act by the Chinese government and urge Liu Xia's immediate and unconditional release.'"
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Chinese Nobel Winner's Wife Detained

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  • Tipping Point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Reason58 (775044) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:01PM (#33852738)
    I really wonder if any line exists that the Chinese government can cross that will result in action taken against them by other countries and their own citizens.
  • Is anyone surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the linux geek (799780) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:02PM (#33852750)
    Why does the mainland Chinese government get better treatment from the "free world" than any other petty dictatorship? They've repeatedly shown that they aren't prepared to act in a respectable manner, so why should they get respect?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:03PM (#33852774)

    World leaders ? Who ? US ? US does nothing that will imperil its economics needs... look at our friendly neighborhood GOOG even they capitulated and kept their China offices open.

    Beggars cant be criticizers.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:21PM (#33852896)

    Giant =/= Powerful

    Their words are backed by the power of Nuclear Weapons! >:(
    /Civ

  • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:29PM (#33852948)

    Why does the mainland Chinese government get better treatment from the "free world" than any other petty dictatorship?

    Because the "free world", and USA in particular, has long since abandoned any pretense of being "free" and gave up any moral authority that may have existed there.

    "Preemptive" wars of conquest based on fabrications, secret detentions, extra-judicial assassinations via drone, Fatherland ... I mean Homeland Security Department with all of its lovely extra-judicial powers etc and so on.

    In fact since I am old enough for this, boarding an airliner in the US is now an experience far worse then doing so in the Soviet Union in the heyday of the USSR (and yes, I've been there so I have first hand data to contrast the two).

  • by ikarous (1230832) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:49PM (#33853086)

    In fact since I am old enough for this, boarding an airliner in the US is now an experience far worse then doing so in the Soviet Union in the heyday of the USSR (and yes, I've been there so I have first hand data to contrast the two).

    Human beings are strange critters, especially in numbers. They will happily consign themselves to completely unreasonable treatment by TSA goons to gain the mere perception of protection from an event that has about a 1*10^-1000 percent chance of happening in the first place. Meanwhile, most people don't seem to have a problem playing with their phones while doing eighty down the highway. This type of irrationality continually erodes personal freedom in the USA (and undoubtedly elsewhere).

  • Re:Tipping Point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Martin Blank (154261) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:56PM (#33853152) Journal

    China was never a part of the First World. That was aligned with the US and NATO. The Second World was aligned with or influenced by the USSR (basically the Communist nations), which included China. The Third World was made up of pretty much everyone else.

    These days, the UN Human Development Index is more often used to categorize countries, and China falls into the range of medium human development, coming in 92nd out of 182 nations and regions included.

    China has some modern cities, but much of the country is rural agriculture, with people farming and subsisting pretty much as they have for centuries. It has no blue-water navy, and what it does have has never been sufficient to conduct an invasion of Taiwan even without the threat of the US being brought into the fray. Its air force fighters have been upgraded rapidly over the last decade or so, but its AWACS capability is still primitive at best. The ground forces' armor and artillery are also much more advanced than they were in the 1990s, but still not on par with Western powers, or maybe even South Korea's tanks, which are based on the M1. A significant portion of their military arsenal still makes up for lack of accuracy with increased yields in the 3-5 megaton range.

    That's not to say that such an invasion would be a cakewalk. Sheer military numbers and size of the country would make life difficult even for multiple nations invading, possibly to the point of defeat. At the very least, it would be horrendously expensive on a scale that we've never seen.

  • Re:Tipping Point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smallfries (601545) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:59PM (#33853180) Homepage

    What makes you think that would hurt us more than them?

    The Chinese deliberately hold vast amounts of western debt to artificially strengthen the dollar against their own currency. If they withdraw that money then the dollar sinks and their currency rises. All of a sudden Chinese goods become much more expensive in all of their main markets. And all it does is cause the yield to increase on bonds. Hardly the devastation that you claim.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @01:59PM (#33853182)

    what authority has any other country over china to tell them how to handle their own internal affairs?

    im not chinese. ive never been to china. i dont want to go to china.

    who am i, who is -anyone-, 'world leader' or not, to tell another country how they should handle their own citizens?

    if the people of china dislike their current situation so much, they should violently overthrow the despots, if they dont, it's their own fault and their posterity will continue to endure tyrannical abuses (much the same situation as it is in the rest of the world).

  • Re:China SUCKS ASS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nemyst (1383049) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:18PM (#33853318) Homepage
    Difference being, each of those countries were/are seen as enemies to the West for what they have done. China is seen as a business partner.
  • Re:China SUCKS ASS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:32PM (#33853422)


    Was even Soviet-ear Russia as bad as this? Is Iran even as bad as this? Was Saddam-controlled Iraq as bad as this? I'm not sure which angers me more: the act itself, or the utter stupidity that underlies it!

    My great grandfather spent 10 years in a 'labor' camp in Siberia. It just so happened that he was also a political critic.
    My great grandmother buried her mother on the side of the road while fleeing from Poland.

    It's not surprising that it happened. My great grandfather was part of a purge, he had been a major player in rebellion in Poland and was probably seen as a potential opponent to some on the Russian side of things.

    Amazingly he survived and made it to the United States. I've tried to piece fact from fiction as told by my father and grandfather (who may not be the most impartial storytellers) but some of the physical evidence I have, photos, travel documents, and a few historical records (journals from his time escaping from the USSR after Siberia) make it an interesting story. I'm going to have to see what a historian familiar with Polish history could tell me. But, needless to say, some relatives of mine did NOT make it to the States.

  • by fishbowl (7759) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:37PM (#33853466)

    >intellectually dishonest

    What does that mean? Why not just say "dishonest?"

  • Re:China... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by germansausage (682057) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @02:37PM (#33853474)
    There is a great short story about this, I think by Harry Turtledove. One of these alternate history concepts, where the Nazis end up ruling India instead of the British. When Gandhi tries his non-violent resistance the Germans arrest him. After a brief interview with the German commander, who is genuinely curious why Gandhi thinks his methods would have any effect on the German occupation, the German have him shot out of hand. End of story.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @04:18PM (#33854146)

    That's not "The West." That's not "America," that's Human Nature. Societies enforce norms. Period. If you don't like the norms, then by all means criticize them. The beauty of the west is that you're not going to be JAILED for doing so. In China, if you publicly question the norms, they will put you in prison or in a labor camp. In America, if you publicly question the norms, you will be publicly derided, but you'll be allowed to continue doing so. And believe me, dissidents DO cause huge problems for the US government for the very reason that the dissent is allowed to continue, but they can't legally do a damned thing about it.

    What? You seriously expect people to just listen to everything you have to say and respect and tolerate it? Please. Everyone has their own views, and they're not going to agree with you unless your rhetoric is fantastic or if your views already match theirs.

    One of the rights imbued by free speech is the right of criticism. If your views really are bat shit crazy, then we should expect people to be calling you a lunatic, and indeed, they should.

  • Re:Tipping Point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Luckyo (1726890) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @05:19PM (#33854500)

    The logical response China would take would be to simply conquer Taiwan with its vastly superior military might, while extending the "suggestion" to US that any attempt to stop them would be viewed as an act of war on Chinese soil (as Chinese view Taiwan as a breakaway province, which is still part of China).

    The reason they don't do it now is because they have too much to lose by doing so. If Taiwan rocks the boat, most nations will be content to look away after such stupidity, while US would be simply forced to, as it has nothing in its conventional military war chest that could put any real threat on China near its mainland. The only real means of offence would be naval, and Chinese submarine and cruise missile capacity has been mainly built on Russian tech, meaning any surface fleet would become sub-surface within a day of approaching strike range. And there's no way in hell that US Navy is going to put its expensive as hell carriers into position where they don't stand any chance of survival.

    This isn't something I'm imagining - US navy intelligence has pretty much covered this about a decade ago when Chinese started building up, and several decades before that when they were comparing Soviet navy's focus on anti-ship missile-armed supersonic bombers and attack submarines over surface ships.
    It's where the infamous US submariner saying that "there are only two kinds of ships in a real naval war - submarines and targets" started.

  • Re:Tipping Point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gtall (79522) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @05:29PM (#33854568)

    The U.S. did not passively allow the Japanese to conduct the bombing. They were under no illusions as to Japan's intent to start a war after the embargo instituted because of Japan had a tendency to invade its neighbors. The U.S. did figure that if the Japanese started something, it was likely to be in the Philippines or Singapore. The U.S. wasn't stupid enough to hand over the fleet in Pearl Harbor just to get into WWII. Pearl Harbor was considered safe due to its distance. The U.S. miscalculated what the Japanese carriers were capable of doing. However, at that time, there had never been a carrier war; it was brand new weapon that no one really knew how to fit into their military doctrine. The Japanese winged it; it worked...for a short time...and then it didn't.

  • by MasaMuneCyrus (779918) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @06:59PM (#33855036)

    Between the Liu Xiaobo, his wife, and the Nobel issues, its increasingly aggressive stance in US military talks, its now clearly-visible use of de facto economic sanctions (let alone their petty sanctions, like canceling concerts and tourism) to solve political issues (e.g., Senkakus; coming up next will be the South China Sea), its claim of the entire South China Sea as a "core interest", its generals violent, angry, disrespectful rants to US diplomats and US military generals during talks, its ambassadors literally screaming at US ambassador about Taiwan arms sales (as if they're anything new?), its siding with North Korea in the Cheonan sub incident, its often-siding with Iran even as Russia goes against Iran, its harassment of all regional neighbors (Japan, India, and all of ASEAN... find one country near China that doesn't border issues with China, more often than not severe border issues), its very "coincidental" purchase of tons of Japanese bonds just as Japan was trying to weaken the yen, its reactor sales to Pakistan, its excessively predatory trade practices (you're a high-tech company that wants to do business in China? You'd better be willing to give domestic Chinese companies your technology), its industrial espionage (Everyone spies on everyone, but the CIA does not spy on Japan and give Ford technology secrets. China doesn't have this moral dilemma, however), its threatening maneuvers, war games, and military actions against regional powers (especially US, South Korea, and Japan), its dishonest military practices (this seems like a weird thing to say, but China literally has fleets militarized civilian fishing boats [strategycenter.net] so that it can claim that innocent citizens are being targeted if there is an armed conflict. I'm pretty sure the Western Powers don't do this. This is another reason Tokyo takes the fishing inside of its borders so seriously.)... Between all of these issues and so many more, China has already crossed the tipping point.

    - The government of Japan is using all of its spare budget for this year to invest in rare earth metal mines in Mongolia and abroad while Japanese companies are pumping R&D money into negating the need for rare earth metals at all. The United States is also pushing to restart its rare earth mining operations.

    - The Japanese Self Defense Forces has asked for a budget to study the possibility of setting up a permanent base on Yonakuni island -- an island 100 km from Taiwan. And, of course, where there are Japanese forces, there are inevitably US forces.

    - The Japanese and US military are staging some war games to simulate a hostile Chinese military takeover of the Senkaku Islands so that they can prepare strategies to take the islands back by force.

    - ASEAN has de facto agreed to begin setting up a bloc to contain and push back against increasingly aggressive and greedy Chinese hegemony and demands in the region. They are also asking the US to come back into this and re-assert its power in Asia. This has led to some very unusual alliances (US-Vietnam military alliance? wtf?). Because of China's aggressiveness, quite literally every rising or current Asian country (except China, of course), is gravitating back towards the US geopolitical sphere of influence.

    - The Taiwanese public can only handle so much of their national image and sovereignty eroded and humiliated before they expect China to actually do something (like remove the 1500+ missiles aimed at their homes), and that tipping point is rapidly approaching (President Ma's popularity is tanking like Bush's was).

    - The US is being increasingly aggressive against the Chinese yuan and their many, many, many other predatory and unfair trading practices (though to be fair to China on this one, the US's demands of an immediate yuan revaluing of +25% would be insanely destabilizing; I assume the US just set the bar high to give room to bargain downwards).

    -

  • by MasaMuneCyrus (779918) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @07:10PM (#33855084)

    If China moves to take Taiwan by force, it would be a disastrously huge destabilization of that entire part of the globe, ultimately resulting either in total war with many parties that do not like China (i.e., everyone in that part of the world) or else resulting in China becoming the single, monopolizing hegemon of the entire region -- all of the ASEAN countries, and everyone -- up to Japan, which would upset the current balance of every market of everything worldwide.

    And even if, for some reason, nobody cared at all about Taiwan being taken over militarily, and the other ASEAN countries didn't take the aggressive military take-over of a de facto sovereign nation as a forewarning of how China will deal with them when negotiations break down, the entire globe can expect the prices of everything computer-related to skyrocket probably several thousand percent and move backwards in time as so much of the R&D and highly-advanced manufacturing equipment on the island is damaged.

    China has not moved to take over Taiwan because, having missed their opportunity shortly after the civil war, the modern era's situation is that entire planet has too much to lose over such an unimaginably, disastrously irresponsible thing.

  • by Luckyo (1726890) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @07:57PM (#33855314)

    China has not moved to take over Taiwan because, having missed their opportunity shortly after the civil war, the modern era's situation is that entire planet has too much to lose over such an unimaginably, disastrously irresponsible thing.

    I completely agree with you on this, as well as your entire post. However it is largely moot, because it relies on China being the escalator.

    If Taiwan is the one to attempt escalation by a change of status quo by breaching non-profiliteration agreements, it will become the aggressor. At this point, very few in ASEAN will be willing to stand up for it if China was to go in, and in asian cultures in general, such a move would be viewed as a challenge which when gone unanswered would cause chinese to lose face.
    No one in the region would blame chinese for acting in such situation. There would be public political posturing and possibly some form of UN resolution + sanctions. But no one would stand for Taiwan if it tried to get nukes.

    Which is why arming Taiwan with strategic or tactical nuclear weapons will never happen. Because LOCALS will not stand for it, as they understand the consequences. They have far more to lose then people of US from such a stupid move.

    Which was the original claim I answered to.

  • Re:Tipping Point (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:47PM (#33855500) Homepage

    China is no a entity it is a country run by an oligarchy of corrupt people driven by a need to feed their ego by accruing power and capital, basically driven by greed and lust. Though they are far better at hiding it, than say US Republicans, there motivations are still they same even though their autocratic power base via the military is far stronger than the Republicans (even with the Republicans gross and offensive attempt to evangelise the US military).

    As with all autocracies you have no need to tackle the country or even the whole of the government (unity in autocratic governments is an illusion, they are always ready, willing and able to back stab each other), so it simply becomes a matter of targeting the individual wealth and power of troublesome individuals, of disrupting their personal power base, of course there are just so many corrupt individuals behind the the current leadership, you often just end up replace one sociopath with another (still they new player must focus inward for a while to solidify their power base).

    The only country under any real threat from China is Africa, but that is one of corruption, ruthless exploitation of resources, toxic industrial base and of course labour exploitation that will make labour conditions in China look like a workers paradise (I suppose that is one way for a corporo-fascist state pretending to be communist to make it look like labour conditions in China are getting better, make it worse elsewhere, they are currently winning in the US with the help of the GOP).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:56PM (#33855534)

    Watch as people with even the slightest belief outside the two parties in the United States gets immediately attacked as being kooks

    I can't imagine you could have a belief that isn't encompassed in some grander philosophy of those parties. I listen to republicans talk about capitalism, but it really sounds like feudalism and theology. I listen to democrats talk about socialism, and it either comes across as communism or anarchy. Both parties claim libertarians as their own, redefining the belief to fit their whiles.

    The tricky part is explaining why your idea, outside the scope of the political stage, is actually a good idea, solves a problem that many people have and while not getting gravitationally sucked in to the above tropes. The issue therefore isn't that you're outside the parties, the issue is that you cannot be outside the parties. Once you're associated with some party agenda, you are then tarred and feathered by the opposition and labelled a kook, nazi, communist, nutcase, idiot or pedophile.

    Damned if you speak, fucked if you don't.

  • Re:China... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @09:17PM (#33855620)

    Only a non British national can fail to see that being honest is a fundamental characteristic of being British there is an innate sense of honesty and fair play and national pride, Now of course there are individuals who would flatten you for the insult you just made but also a good number who would save you from the pasting you deserve.

    Typically you would actually remain un-bruised but unpopular and unwelcome. Perhaps that's a national characteristic to be civil and essentially honest but well prepared to fight back when provoked.

    Ghandi got lucky in that there was no excuse to legitimately execute him and it would have made him a martyr.
    The British must have got something right as British / Indian relations are still good.

           

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 10, 2010 @09:59PM (#33855810)

    I keep hearing people say how Google lost that battle, but the fact that they stayed means that they won by a larger margin than anyone thought possible. They said they would not remain in China if they were forced to censor, and guess what: they're not censoring, and they're not in mainland China. If you go to google.cn, the search bar is a link to google.hk. If you type in Liu Xiaobo there, you get the full uncensored results about him winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Google kept their promise, and they no longer censor.

  • by notrandomly (1242142) on Monday October 11, 2010 @04:08AM (#33857314)
    I wonder if the Nobel Prize committee takes people's safety into account when issuing these awards. Of course, now the whole world's attention is focused on the winner, but his family could end up paying a terrible price.

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