Just as Nelson Mandela symbolized the struggle for individual rights and equality in South Africa, so Liu Xiaobo embodies the struggle for freedom of expression and for civil and political rights in China.
The first English-language collection of poetry written by 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is set for publication. The collection, entitled "June Fourth Elegies," will be translated by the poet Jeffrey Yang.
Liu Xiaobo was unable to be in Oslo to collect his Nobel Peace Prize. He is just one year into an 11-year jail sentence for subversion because he penned an open letter calling for democratic reforms in China.
As the Nobel ceremony shifts from current event to historical moment, we can put what has happened into perspective -- and get a sense of how Liu, his prize, and the empty seat held for him in Oslo may come to be remembered.
In a typically sour grapes gesture, China has invented its own peace prize. The ceremony, held on December 9th, is a day ahead of the Nobel Peace Prize function honoring jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.
When the Nobel Peace Prize is presented next week, the stage will be empty and echoing. The winner -- Liu Xiaobo -- will be 5,000 miles away, in a filthy cell, alone, for the crime of trying to defend his fellow Chinese citizens.
As the senior leader of one Chinese state-owned enterprise said to me, "I used to think [Obama] was nice. Then I realized he was intelligent. Now I know he's shrewd, just like Hu Jintao. Your leader is a strategist."
We need to look very carefully at what Americans are being forced to subsidize at the UN. It does not make sense for our State Department to issue human rights reports and religious freedom reports, and then go ahead and fund some of the biggest abusers of human rights and religious freedom.