Saturday, May 2, 2009

The coming storm...

BEIJING — Behind the west Beijing apartment building where Liu Xia keeps a fifth-floor flat, the police have built a guardhouse. Its purpose is not to protect Ms. Liu, who seeks no safeguarding. The house is for the guards who watch her.

Inside, they take notes to record her comings and goings. When she ventures out, a guard picks up the phone. Soon, a sedan with darkened windows carrying a man with a telephoto-lens camera is trailing her.

During a recent chat in a nearby teahouse, Ms. Liu wondered aloud why she unnerves China’s rulers enough to merit her own guardhouse. She is not active in politics, she said, and does not even use a computer. “I take photos, paint paintings, write poems, read books, cook food,” she said with a mirthless laugh. “And drink.”

But, of course, she knows why. She is married to Liu Xiaobo, a writer, philosopher and democracy advocate. On Dec. 10, Mr. Liu and 302 others issued a manifesto, called Charter 08, that urged China’s Communist Party to abandon monopoly rule and establish a multiparty system of government.

The police seized Mr. Liu two days before Charter 08 was released. He has been locked ever since in a windowless room about an hour’s drive north of central Beijing. He is denied access to lawyers, to pen and paper and, except for two brief visits, to his wife.

He is allowed to ask for books. His latest request was for the works of Kafka.
Ain't no such thing as a little pregnant. Ain't no such thing as a little Democracy. In order to compete and prosper in the global market, China was forced to make concessions. What they didn't count on is that their constituency (especially in the outer Provinces) would grasp onto a whisp and a dream.

China's Jimmy Hoffa era is afoote, and eventually someone will take a count and realize that you can't opress 3 Billion people with threats. I think it will get ugly, and the Tibetan Monk altercations are just the beginning.