Liu Xiaobo’s Manifesto, Charter 08 – Part 1/3

December 18, 2010

First, a question — how often in history has an established government stepped aside and allowed another political structure to replace it without a bloody rebellion?

“Charter 08” is Liu Xiaobo’s Manifesto calling for democratic reforms in China that would sweep aside the established political system opening the door to chaos and anarchy — a return to the first half of the twentieth century.

To understand what would happen to China if Liu’s Manifesto for democracy were implemented, it helps to know some history.

I’ll start with the Communist Manifesto.

Online says, “The Communist Manifesto is considered one of the most influential political manuscripts ever written…. it was composed by German communist thinkers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto, also known as the Manifesto of the Communist Party, was published on February 21, 1848.

The Communist Manifesto led to the bloody Russian, Chinese and Cuban revolutions and eventually to the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. To replace old political structures with what the Communist Manifesto proposed cost tens of millions of lives and much suffering.

Even the American and French Republics were born in the 18th century of bloody revolutions and China has already been through one bloody revolution between the Communist and Nationalist (KMT) parties that lasted from 1925 to 1949 soon after Dr. Sun Yat-sen died. To discover more of this era, learn from The Roots of Madness

I admit that I did not know much about the crime that Liu Xiaobo was guilty of that landed him in a Chinese prison for eleven years. I knew as much as most in the West that he was an advocate for democracy and earned an eleven-year prison sentence for his beliefs.

However, to learn more about why a Chinese court sentenced Liu Xiaobo to eleven years in prison for subversion, Google led me to a New Zealand site where I learned about Liu Xiaobo’s Manifesto.

Since the Western media seldom goes into detail beyond the fact that Liu Xiaobo is an activist for democracy in China, I was ignorant of the history behind Liu’s movement.

If you are interested in seeing the list of the demands Liu Xiaobo’s Manifesto makes, visit Charter 08 at Wikipedia.

In Part two, I will examine how Liu Xiaobo broke China’s laws and earned a prison sentence. Click here to go to Liu Xiaobo’s Manifesto, Charter 08 – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

The Sound of Laughter

November 25, 2010

What Richard Fernandez wrote about the current situation in Korea for Belmont Club of Pajamas Media was wrong. He wrote,” Barack Obama … is beaten before he starts” as if the only response is to declare total war on North Korea to punish them for what they did.

Anyone who studied and understands Sun Tzu’s The Art of War knows that retaliation of North Korea would be a lose-lose situation for everyone involved.

What was lost? Two South Korean soldiers were killed and a dozen injured. There was no invasion or huge loss of life.

Let us not forget that the Korean Conflict never ended in the 1950s. North and South Korea are technically still at war and these flare-ups are a continuation of that conflict.

The problem with invading or bombing North Korea is that millions of Koreans on both sides of the DMZ would die.

Then Fernandez spends time on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and writes about nonproliferation indicating that if Obama doesn’t use force to punish North Korea, then Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore will eventually take steps to acquire nuclear weapons making the world a more dangerous place.

Obama is not a cowboy from the neoconservative, nation-building hawks of the Bush Whitehouse.

Instead, Obama has borrowed a tactic from President Theodore Roosevelt. Obama talks softly but carries a big stick, and America’s enemies and allies in Asia know this.

After all, in 2010, President Obama sent another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and you seldom win shooting wars without shedding blood.

The Nation says, “The Obama administration is trying to kill its way to victory in Afghanistan.”

In fact, Obama still uses the infamous Blackwater to find insurgent targets in Pakistan. The Nation says, “These are not people that believe that Barack Obama is a socialist, these are not people that kill innocent civilians. They’re very good at what they do.”

“Since President Barack Obama was inaugurated, The United States has expanded drone bombing raids in Pakistan,” The Nation says. “Obama first ordered a drone strike against targets in North and South Waziristan on January 23, and the strikes have been conducted consistently ever since.”

“The Obama administration has now surpassed the number of Bush-era strikes in Pakistan and has faced fierce criticism from Pakistan (without Obama backing down) …”

One comment to Richard Fernandez post about Korea says China would come across the Yalu River as it did in the 50s. That’s also wrong since America could destroy North Korea without a ground invasion. It could all be done from the air. Then we could ignore North Korea.

In fact, Mao ruled the China of the 50s. When Mao died in 1976, revolutionary Maoism was repudiated and the Maoists swept from power.

Then in 1982, China wrote a new Constitution with term and age limits for politicians. Since Mao died, China has had four presidents because the law says the president of China may only serve two five-year terms. The 1982 Constitution also has an article of impeachment.

Today, China is an open market, hybrid capitalist, socialist republic that spent the last three decades building a modern China. That could all be lost by sending troops across the Yalu River to support North Korea as Mao did.

Imagine what would happen if the US destroyed the Three Gorges Damn with cruise missiles.

Then there’s what Time said last year. “South Korea, backed by the U.S., doesn’t want war, because the North has some 13,000 artillery tubes aimed at Seoul and more than 10 million South Koreans living within 30 miles of the DMZ.

North Korea, backed by China, doesn’t want war because if it comes, it all but guarantees the collapse of Kim’s regime, which is also the family business.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

The Fear of Mao Buying the World

November 22, 2010

The cover of The Economist’s November 13 issue plays on fear to sell magazines.

I haven’t read Buying up the world, The coming wave of Chinese takeovers yet, which is the feature piece. I’ll probably write another post about that once I do.

Instead, I’m writing about the magazine’s cover, which is taking advantage of the West’s PTCSD (Post Traumatic Chinese Stress Disorder) that has roots in the “history” of a fear of the word “Communist”, the Korean Conflict and the Cultural Revolution.

I’m sure most Sinophobes that see this cover will have flashbacks of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the rest of China dressed in drab Mao jackets marching across the world to take possession of everything China buys.

However, Mao isn’t the proper man to adorn The Economist’s cover.

Deng Xiaoping or one of China’s recent presidents (there have been four since the 1982 Constitution) would have been more appropriate.

Why? Because after Mao died in 1976, Deng Xiaoping and his allies rejected Maoist Revolutionary thought and embraced CAPITALISM in a very big way.

In fact, surviving Maoists consider the Party that rules China today to be traitors to Mao and the revolution.

Do you remember the 1980s, when wealthy Japanese spent billions buying property in America then a real estate bubble burst, Japan lost a lot of money, and its economy has been limping since?

If anyone should be afraid, it should be the Chinese fearing spending habits in the US, Canada and Europe where debt and plastic rule.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to iLook China, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions