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Why does China fear critical discourse?

Chu, Y. (2012) Why does China fear critical discourse? In: Kalaga, Wojciech and Klis, Agnieszka, (eds.) Civilisation and fear: Anxiety and the writing of the subject. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 47-61.


Between October and December 2010 the world witnessed China's reaction to the Nobel Prize Committee's decision to award Liu Xiaobo its annual Peace Prize. Ironically, China has been longing for the award of a Nobel Prize for decades, yet this particular honour bestowed for the first time on a Chinese citizen has proved to be less than welcome to the government in Beijing. After all, Liu Xiaobo had been sentenced in 2004 to spend 11 years in prison for subversive activities, such as a plea for government reforms and human rights. Yet it is still surprising that in the view of the Chinese government the award was nothing less than "an obscenity." Beijing accused the Nobel Prize Committee of interference in China's internal affairs and infringement of China's judicial sovereignty. At the same time China warned the Norwegian government that it would have to face serious consequences for permitting the award to be bestowed in this manner. The Chinese government also prevented Liu Xiaobo and his family from attending the ceremony, launched a campaign in order to boycott the award, and imposed a blackout on BBC and CNN coverage of the ceremony in Norway. In addition, the Chinese government hastily created its own Confucius Peace Prize, awarded immediately prior to the 2010 Nobel Prize ceremony.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Copyright: The Author
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