China and human rights


Sir, – In response to the protestations by the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy’s Mr Pan’s protestations that China is a country ruled by law (letters July 15th), one must only look at the treatment of Liu Xiaobo’s own wife to prove that the contrary is true.

Within days of Liu Xiaobo being announced as the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, police moved to isolate Liu Xia, a photographer and poet, from the outside world.

For seven years she has been kept prisoner in her own home, having never been charged with or found guilty of any crime. Her only crime was to love the “wrong” man. It would be interesting to hear what law governed this extralegal and utterly inhumane detention. Liu Xia should be set free, now that her husband has paid the ultimate price for his human rights work. – Yours, etc,


Executive Director,

Front Line Defenders,

Grattan House,

Temple Road,


Co Dublin.

Sir, – Further to the letter from a spokesman at the Chinese Embassy in Dublin, I write in support of the right of the People’s Republic of China to take a particular stance regarding both Hong Kong and internal dissent.

It is wrong of the international community to interfere in what are internal Chinese affairs.

The West has many problems of its own in the areas of government and human rights and needs to sort those out before commenting on China.

As the Irish should remember only too well, imperialism encompasses not just military strength but includes imposition of a set of beliefs that may be alien to the target society.

China is not ready to have western ideals of democracy and government imposed on it. It should be allowed to evolve at its own pace.

The West needs to accept that Hong Kong will revert to being just another part of non-democratic China, and that different countries have different ways of dealing with internal dissent. – Yours, etc,