Liu Ashes Buried At Sea To 'erase His Memory'

Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo as they march to mourn him in Hong Kong on Saturday. Associated Press  Vincent Yu

Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo as they march to mourn him in Hong Kong on Saturday. Associated Press Vincent Yu

Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died from liver cancer on July 13 at the age of 61 in a hospital in Shenyang, northeast Mainland China. Prior to the cremation, a simple ceremony was held with the attendance of Liu's wife Liu Xia and his friends. Token protests were raised, but not one state leader in the free world faced up to the Chinese government to let him seek treatment for the fear of angering an important trade/military/strategic partner-meanwhile, China turned his death into a near Kafkaesque tragedy, allowing foreign doctors to examine him only days before he died.

The global tributes to Liu Xiaobo may be memorialising him as a tireless advocate for democracy and human rights, but here in China the news of his death is being heavily censored, and when he is mentioned, he is described as a convicted criminal. It was positioned above a framed picture of Liu. "But now we must free Liu Xia, because she has already suffered so much". Beijing says the island is part of China and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.

After speaking for about 20 minutes, Liu was escorted out by two unidentified women, an unlit cigarette in his mouth, and did not answer questions from journalists who surrounded him. Reiterating the Chinese government's line, Ma said Liu was sentenced due to violating the law and that "China made all-out efforts to treat him humanely in accordance with the law".

Liu was only the second Nobel Peace Prize victor to die in police custody, a fact pointed to by human rights groups as an indication of the Chinese Communist Party's increasingly hard line against its critics.

The Liaoning Prison Administrative Bureau announced on June 26 on its website that Liu had been granted medical parole after being diagnosed with liver cancer during a routine physical check conducted by the Jinzhou Prison on May 31. In the period after dealing with the death of Liu Xiaobo, she won't take anymore outside disturbances. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 for co-authoring "Charter 08", a document that called for an end to one-party rule in China.

In talking to Liu's friends, I also learned about his integrity and authenticity as a person and about all the solidarity initiatives that he organised to call for the release of persecuted fellow citizens despite the risks of retaliation from China's unpredictable party-state.

China has bristled previously at Tsai's comments on China's political system.

As a student who fell in love with China in the early 2000s and devoured hundreds of books and articles on China to quench my curiosity and satiate the hunger of my ignorance, reading Liu's critical analyses of Chinese politics and society was hugely enlightening.

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