The Obama administration must go beyond mere words, demonstrating that it believes respect for religious freedom is a fundamental strategic interest, and integrating this understanding into its overall China policy.
The United States' ability to improve the world is limited. Economic incentives, military actions, and pro-democracy rhetoric will not push the international community into demanding Liu Xiaobo's release, or prevent other countries from following China's lead.
On October 3rd, police in full riot gear confiscated ballot boxes in Kathmandu and effectively shut down an attempt by 9,000 Tibetans to participate in the vote for their new prime minister and parliament-in-exile.
How far has political discourse fallen that 140 characters, in a language as concise as Chinese, is considered sufficient space to provide political commentary that is not only worth reading, but worth censoring?
As Tibet's best-known writer Woeser says, Tibetans are attempting to transcend the terror by writing about it. They are daring to refute China's official narrative, presenting a more complex challenge to the Communist Party than before.
The Internet is admired as a tool for freedom of speech and citizen participation the world over. But in China, and particularly in East Turkestan, it is used to root out critics of government policies.