China Chides Comparisons Between Nobel Laureates Nelson Mandela and Liu Xiaobo

State-run paper says Liu was never accepted by the "Chinese mainstream"

  • Share
  • Read Later
Siu Chiu / Reuters

Pro-democracy activist Lui Yuk-lin posts a picture of Liu Xia, the wife of jailed Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, on a wall during a protest calling for the freeing of Chinese dissidents outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong December 5, 2013.

While Chinese officials this week joined the chorus of global praise for the late Nelson Mandela, the autocratic regime in Beijing drew the line at comparing the anti-Apartheid icon with imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

An editorial in the state-run Global Times on Wednesday rebuffed attempts to compare the fellow laureates and claimed that Liu was never accepted by “mainstream Chinese society,” according a translation published by Reuters.

“Mandela was a Nobel Peace Prize laureate for leading African people to anti-apartheid victory through struggles, tolerance and efforts to bridge differences. However, awarding a Chinese prisoner who confronted authorities and was rejected by mainstream Chinese society derides China’s judiciary system,” read the article.

In 2008, Liu co-authored Charta 08, which called for the gradual implementation of democratic reforms in China and earned him international acclaim from human rights activist around the world.

Liu was later arrested by Chinese authorities and sentenced to 11 years in prison for undermining the state. In 2010, Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and remains the only winner to still be behind bars.



Hey David, you forgot to mention the fact Liu Xiaobo was on Uncle Sam's payroll, via NED grants, to conduct political opposition in China. Why is our supposedly objective media self-censoring this fact? NED's China grant publication is public information, please look upĀ grants to ICPC and Mingzhu Zhongguo, two NGO Liu headed.


The appeal of Mandela to the Chinese is that he was fighting against a "white" governance. Not that he was fighting oppression. That is the very dangerous aspect of making Nelson Mandela a hero for the "world" to celebrate. It subverts the message of "human rights for everyone in any land" into "human rights only for those against the whites and Europeans".