Advancing a Free Society

Post-Peace Prize

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Norway's Nobel Peace Prize committee has done the right thing in awarding this year's prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The furious reaction of the Chinese state shows just how complicated doing the right thing will become as we advance into an increasingly post-Western world.

Liu is exactly the kind of person who deserves this prize, alongside Andrei Sakharov, Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela. For more than 20 years, he has consistently advocated nonviolent change in China, always in the direction of more respect for human rights, the rule of law and democracy. He has paid for this peaceful advocacy with years of imprisonment and harassment. Unlike last year's winner, Barack Obama, who got the prize just for what he had promised to do, Liu gets it for what he has actually done.

Continue reading Timothy Garton Ash in the Los Angeles Times