A Chinese blog called Love Ai Weiwei has posted translations of a series of tweets posted by Ai Weiwei between June 2009 and July 2010. The tweets provide a useful insight into the thinking of the Chinese artist, who was taken away by police more than a month ago. So far, his family has received no word about his condition or whereabouts.
爱艾未未（Love Ai Weiwei）
艾未未微博选登（2009.6~2010.7） 艾未未微博选登（2009.6—2010.7） Ai Weiwei（ @aiw
艾未未微博选登（2009.6—2010.7）Ai Weiwei（ @aiww ）Tweet Quotes 1 （June 2009—July 2010）1. 孩子们肾结石、大头娃娃、被拐卖、被活埋、被开苞、被毒害，但是要让他们保持纯洁。
1. It does not matter whether children suffer from kidney stones or abnormally big heads, and it does not matter children have been abducted, buried alive, poisoned or lost their virginity, what matters is they remain mentally pure.
June 10, 2009 12:30:312. 我郑重的宣布，一个开骂的时代开始了，我们要轻声的骂死敌人。
2. I solemnly declare that a name-calling era has begun, and we would curse the enemy softly to death.
June 11, 2009 08:00:393. 强奸被人抓住了说是反华，孩子死了质问建筑质量是反华，食品有毒被曝光了是反华，打打杀杀被曝光了是反华。卖孩子、卖艾滋血、黑煤窑、公检法犯法、假新闻、贪污腐败、违宪侵权、网络驴霸只要是你说你就是反华。你要是不反华那你还是人吗？
3. Grabbing a rapist was labelled anti-China, questioning shoddy construction which caused the deaths of children was labelled anti-China, exposing contaminated food was labelled anti-China, revealing whatever chaos was labelled anti-China. As for Child trafficking, HIV-positive blood donation, sweatshop coal mines, law-enforcement agencies violating laws, fake news, corruption, unconstitutionality, green dam censorship system, if you discuss these issues you were labelled anti-China. Are you a human being if you are not anti-China?
June 14, 2009 08:29:184. 党考验人民。你网上被绿，你上学被忽悠，你失学活该，你看报被骗，你喝水有毒，你失业你死，你看病被骗，你在公车上被炸，你土地被抢，房屋被拆，你被卖、被埋、被奸，被保安、被联防、被武警、被公安、被维稳、被精神病，你妈逼你挺能挺的。
4. The party has been testing the people. You got censored on the internet, you got duped at school, you got cheated by the press, you got poisoned by toxic drinking water, you got laid off, you got deceived by the doctor, you got blown up on the bus, you got deprived of your land, you got your house demolished, you got sold out, you got buried, you got raped, you got fucked up by security, assistant police, armed police and police in general, you got cracked down on and you got hospitalized in a mental institution. How the fuck do you withstand the test.
June 14, 2009 08:47:335. 六十年没有见过选票，没有全民教育，没有全民医保，没有新闻开放，没有言论自由，没有信息自由，没有迁移居住自由，没有司法独立，没有舆论监督，没有独立工会，没有属于国家的军队，没有宪法保护，剩下的只有卧槽泥马隔壁。
5. These past sixty years there have been no ballots, no education for all, no health insurance for all, no press openness, no freedom of speech, no freedom of information, no freedom of migration, no judicial independence, no media supervision, no independent trade unions, and no military which belongs to the country and no constitutional protections, leaving behind only “I Fuck You, Motherfucker”.
June 14, 2009 09:10:396. 掀警车这种超强度的体能锻炼。我喜欢这个项目，这可能是我唯一喜欢的项目，我一定会参加的。
6. Overturning police cars is a super-tough workout physically. I enjoy this sport event which probably is the only sport event I like, and I will definitely participate in.
June 15, 2009 18:46:597. 毫无疑问，有一天我们会审判那些曾经迫害过人民的人，它们包括那些实施迫害，同情迫害，和对迫害熟视无睹的人们。有时我会天真的认为，这样的节日的到来的日子不会太远了。
7. There is no doubt that one day we will put on trial those who had persecuted the people, including implementors, sympathizers and those who turned a blind eye on persecution. Sometimes I naively think that that festival day cannot be far away.
June 20, 2009 00:39:168. 在世界上还有什么事情比结束一个罪恶腐朽的时代更令人心动呢？这是草泥马撒欢发情的真实原因，从这一点来说，我们感谢这个时代，是互联网给了普通人力量、可能，并证实对自由和公平的向往是快乐和幸福的，选择自由、言论自由是我们生之俱来的权利，谁也不要碰她，谁碰她谁死
8. Is there anything more breathtaking than ending an era of evil and decay? This was the real reason that aroused the mud horse. For this, we should be grateful to this era. It is a blessing and a joy that ordinary people can long for freedom and justice. It is our birthright to enjoy freedom of choice and freedom of speech. Whoever endeavors to sabotage it is doomed to die.
June 20, 2009 08:37
9. 在这个国家，暴力不仅仅是对普通人的生存权利的剥夺，更是对人的表达权利的剥夺， 包括质疑的权利，问讯的权利，知情的权利，政权不惜一切代价的摧毁为了获得这些权利而付出的努力，死于暴政之下的死亡是没有尸首的。
9. In this country, tyranny deprives not only ordinary people of their right to life, but also their right to express their opinions, including the right to question, the right to inquire and the right to know. The authorities will stop at nothing to destroy those who are struggling to acquire those rights. People who died of tyranny had no place to be buried.
June 21, 2009 10:17:46
10. An Internet Boycott is a viable premise. It is time as well as event, and is a perceived behavior. It is binding instead of booing. The change starts with me, and we need actions, feasible, achievable, however tiny, negligible it is. We refuse empty ideals and discursive politics.
June 22, 2009 08:04:19
11. Living under a dictatorship, people die every day without a burial place.
June 22, 2009 10:49:21
12. A system implies manners and regulations. It is rules that make possible playing games healthily. Here we want to inform the government: It is fine that you are in power, but you should not engage in cheating; It is fine that you are corrupt, but corruption should not be rampant; It is fine that you steal, but you should pretend to be more that what you are.
July 3, 2009
13. “The freedom is always that of people who are different from you”, you will never live at ease without other people enjoying freedom as well.
July 3, 2009
14. Horror does not come from savageness and brutality but in the universal acquiescence to brutality. Sad.
July 4, 2009
15. The truth is no longer truth if only you possess the right to speak truth and you have become a fake yourself, simply an excuse for your existence. The whole meaning behind freedom of speech is that the world doesn't work that way, that the world exists in its appearance to individuals in their different perceptions.
July 5, 2009
16. Let these be the last words: the persons who hate to sleep early at night and love to stroke the keyboards in front of monitors create a miracle of ending the last dark age.
August 2, 2009 01:45:55
17. In China, the non-government organization is considered basically an anti-government force, stop playing dumb, I have seen through your propaganda arguments a long time ago.
August 2, 2009 23:17:25
18. If Tan Zuoren is convicted, I should be convicted for the same charge. If he gets penalized, thus I will be penalized for the same charge.
August 3, 2009 22:08:46
19. Evil exists to test our courage. The existence of evil shows how we can be humiliated, it is the reality of ourselves that we are least willing to acknowledge. If we are all dissatisfied with this situation, even the most arrogant of tyrannies will be forced to kneel before us.
August 3, 2009 22:47:32
20. We won’t feel sad anymore, the fact is the system deprived us of our right to be happy and with it our right to be sad.
August 4, 2009 21:45:08
21. What this country needs most is to prove its innocence, t0 prove that it is legitimate, and to prove that is sane. This is also what it fears the most.
August 6, 2009 13:32:24
22. Life skills for living under a totalitarian regime: 1. Do not enslave yourself or harm yourself prior to being forced to become a slave or being hurt by others. 2. Do not co-operate with and do not believe in the lies of the authorities. 3. Respect yourself and speak out for others. 4 Be neither cynical nor superstitious; 5. Be happy in your days and have a sense of what is shameful; 6. Do one small thing daily to prove that justice does exist.
August 6, 2009 14:39:25
23. We shall terminate the totalitarianism with our own hands, and therefore take this honor for granted to avenge generations of our fathers and grandfathers. We will pass on to our offspring a brand new reality which is bright, lively and totally different.
August 10, 2009 19:26:06
24. We are more dead than alive because we still have to prove that we are human beings. August 21, 2009 20:26:54
25. What a loser I am if I can not prove that my will and my ideals are linked to you joys and your happiness.
August 21, 2009 20:29:39
26. You will disappear out of our sights so long as you return the right to vote back to us, and you will be gone forever. The shameful totalitarian regime, we won’t curse you anymore -- you will have been swallowed up by oblivion.
August 21, 2009 22:02:21
27. Thinking of our reality, we feel more excitement and gratefulness other than the fact that we have no choice and we despair. Humanity pushed that little issue of terminating ignorance and evil history to on our feet, as if to say: Go ahead, it is up to you.
August 22, 2009 17:20:55
28. If there is no judicial independence, everyone is put in jeopardy; If there is no freedom of the press, every single power becomes corrupt; If there is no freedom of speech, every single life has been lived in vain. We don’t demand much but the right to live our lives in a clean way.
August 23, 2009 18:33:20
29. If there is one person who is still not free, then I am not; If there is one person who still suffers from insult and humiliation, then I do. Do you understand yet?
August 23, 2009 18:38:54
30. You shall never be forgiven unless you set free all people who are prisoners because of the words they spoke or the thoughts they thought. Free all political prisoners.
August 23, 2009 18:41:32
31. I don’t believe in so-called intellectuals since I disdain their concept of honor and disgrace, disdain the fact that they only think instead of turning thoughts into action. I dub them pseudo-thinkers who are posers.
August 23, 2009 21:13:23
32. Interest groups have formed to create new structures of power in society. They have in frenzy divided up the spoils from the political power driven economy created by internationalization covering every inch of land, mines and resources. What remains is a reshuffling of th cards so as to completely legalize the new order, complete the optimization and adjustment of moral principles to legitimize that order, create a new political pattern that legitimizes and makes broadly acceptable the new order, and to make a new controlled so-called democratic order. It is almost inevitable.
August 23, 2009 21:26:09
33. This is why we pin our hopes on the internet: The greatest good can only be formed when the emotions and values of individuals and all the other people can grow naturally together at the same time and place. This good is likely to defeat that evil that surrounds us everywhere.
August 24, 2009 03:28:47
34. I attribute my success to treating everything from the perspective of an individual human being. Human feelings explain the relationship between you and me, although I am , to explain the relationship between you and me from human being’s emotion, although I too am a sort of evil demon myself.
August 24, 2009 22:12:18
35. We live under a totalitarian system which must be cursed, and we will struggle to curse it until it dies in front of our eyes, or else we will never know real happiness.
August 27, 2009 08:37:43
36. Will you become excited one day at the fact that it was merely your attitude, your casual words and actions, that caused the world around you that upset you so to die?
August 28, 2009 08:25:28
37. What occurred 20 years ago was the massacre of the human lives of those students, what goes on today is the profaning of the souls of students. A generation had been twisted into idiots by the trampling upon of the truth. As far as these 100,000 retards are concerned, they already outdid themselves this time by getting organized to go out and do some goose-stepping.
August 29, 2009 08:41:51
38. Every delight we had on Twitter is a death of dictatorship and totalitarianism.
September 3, 2009 08:45:53
39. Gods, when you see the fear in the eyes of your opponents, who dare not face up to you but lower their heads, sidestep you and pretend that nothing has ever happened, could you feel depressed to have an enemy like that?
September 5, 2009 08:04:28
40. 早上起来的选择：1、是生命的一部分还是死亡的一部分 2、要真实还是要谎言 3、是快乐的还是腐朽的 4、去爱还是被遗弃 5、智慧还是脑残 6、微笑还是屈辱 7、声讨还是庆典 8、多一点勇敢还是多一点恐惧 9、做啥还是腥浪 10、自/由或是囚徒。
40. Choices after waking up: 1. To live or to die? 2. To be true or to lie? 3. To be lively or to be degenerate? 4. To love or to be forsaken? 5. To be wise or to be idiotic? 6. To smile or to be humiliated? 7. To denounce or to celebrate? 8. To be more courageous or to be more fearful? 9. To take action or to be brainwashed? 10. To be free or to be jailed?
September 5, 2009 08:50:36
41. It is unimaginable that this body of crimes would end up collapsing in the strokes of the keyboards. It is not small thing to breezily terminate an era of terror and a disgrace to humanity.
September 5, 2009 10:37:20
42. Should a boy not be aware of the desires of a girl? And should an artist not understand the needs of the masses? If one cannot be taken advantage of, then he is useless.
September 5, 2009 11:05:50
43. In China, 320 people lose their lives at work everyday due to safety incidents. Every year 15,000 die as a result of industrial injuries. All these injuries and deaths continue and become even more numerous while the whole society remains silent. Unfairness and unrighteousness is sustained by the acquiescence of the entire citizenry.
September 11, 2009 18:35:35
44. Will the Shanghai government apologize to those whom they have cheated? If apologizing is an act between individuals of the same status, then this clearly cannot happen. In the eyes of the government, these who were cheated are not human beings, they are slaves. The government sees itself as a god. This is the only way to understand the arrogance and rashness of the authorities.
October 26, 2009 23:35:08
45. It is said that the overly cautious Obama will soon come to visit the heavenly court. This guy for the sake of the short-term interests of the United States is making ambiguous statements on human rights. A national leader who does not firmly support the human principles upon which human rights are based will be a disaster for his country, not matter where he is from.
November 3, 2009 16:28:10
46. As for the American's fleeting visit, all of the old power structures have sold out, in varying degrees, the ideals of humanity. They pretend that these ideals belong to no one countryFor the American’s sneaky visit, the ideal of humanity was sold by these aged power systems in varying degrees. All countries make a pretenses behind which are power games; all countries make deals. Business is business.
November 3, 2009 19:23:22
47. In what sense may we call it a state? It establishes a powerful military all the while openly defying and trampling upon righteous laws. It recruits tens of millions of followers together while deviating from the common beliefs and wishes of mankind. It is fascinated by rapid change yet suffocates free voices. It has the world's largest population yet has a vicious system of education and health. It implements extreme power politics and dictatorship while acting and organizing it self like a gangster organization.
November 9, 2009 06:21:19
48. Consciousness without action is a type of cunning. Action is saving yourself and is the most meaningful thing in life.
November 9, 2009 16:24:23
49. It is a great civilized country’s responsibility to express an attitude towards a totalitarian dictatorship. Up to the present day, nearly all civilizations have been founded on other people’s misfortunes. And so, Obama don’t pretend to be an almsgiver, or I will ask if you not what ever heard a term called “being pushed around”?
November 13, 2009 08:04:14
50. The behavior of the Ministry of Public Security agents during a three-hour-long really careful search demonstrated there is no depth of morality and ethics to which they will not sink. I was not surprised. I even laughed when I heard I was suspected of involvement in “fraud”, at least they were sharing that honor with me.
November 19, 2009 05:07:14
51. What can they do to me? Nothing short of deportation, kidnapping and imprisonment or making me completely vanish. They are not imaginative or creative. They are unhappy and lack the capability to soar up into the sky. This is some pathetic political group!
November 19, 2009 05:41:06
52. The world is not changing if you don’t shoulder your responsibility for this. If the world is still not changing if you do shoulder it, however, you are changing.
December 2, 2009 04:01:4
53. Darkness can not stand up to the trial of being questioned, just go ahead and bombard them with questions. One day you will find out that day dawns as the result of those questioning.
December 2, 2009 04:19:16
54. Answers belong to those who ask questions. Rights belong to those who exercise them. In the end we must point out the harm and evils that crime creates. It is magical to live nowdays when we have no choice but to opt for morality and justice.
December 2, 2009 04:28:10
55. If AIDS really concerns everyone, Doctor Gao Yaojie would not have led a wretched life far from her hometown. If everyone really considers the transparency, openness and fairness in government, as well as the citizen’s right to know and to oversee government operations indispensable, then go ahead and call for openness about May 12 earthquake information, and stand up for your own rights.
December 2, 2009 19:32:06
56. I will come back here since I belong here. That is why I have no fear. I am not willing to have fear. My safety is for the most part most closely connected with those who don’t even care about me.
December 11, 2009 09:03:24
57. A person can only be charged with subverting state power when the whole people turn cold, apathetic and indifferent, when the whole people neither inquire nor hear and even close their eyes to the facts. These are the social and ethical foundations that make that charge possible to make.
December 11, 2009 16:03:06
58. What happened here was simply understandable. It was certainly my concession which led to the arrogance of the dictatorship.
December 11, 2009 16:33:58
59. Sichuan, my grief had no where to turn when, after the earthquake, you refused to release the list of the names of the children who were killed in the earthquake. Sichuan, you refuse to speak out your filthy name today, and therefore my grief and indignation inevitably turns into flames.
December 15, 2009 04:41:54
60. Nowadays Chinese must be determined not to co-operate. That is the only way that we can wash away the shame of tolerating dictatorship and tyranny for generation after generation.
December 17, 2009 07:45:55
61. Merely possessing the power to do violence is not enough to arouse fear. What arouses fear is the general acceptance of power politics and lack of compassion for the sufferings of others. That is enough to suffocate anyone.
December 23, 2009 13:41:49
62. Dictatorship is a story about the death of other people. Sometimes those "other people" by coincidence just turn out to include you.
December 25, 2009 17:25:00
63. As far as my motherland is concerned, if there’s gotta be one for me, it would be the Internet which is sufficient to satisfy my imaginings of open spaces and boundaries. As far as other countries go, you can have them.
December 29, 2009 14:44:39
64. The importance of education lies in making educated people become independent. Independence is having self-awareness and being able to express yourself. Citizen education has to do with guiding participation in protecting and taking responsibility for common human values.
December 30, 2009 13:14:21
65. Twitter makes the most hopeless world come to have a temperature, bustle, lights opens up opportunities for both watching and listening.
January 1, 2010 10:25:01
66. Scale, scale, what scale Han Han should use to cheer you up has always been haunting him.
January 9, 2010 18:18:53
67. 从谷歌之退看到的现实是悲喜交集，赢者知其赢，输者不知其输，荣者知其荣，耻者不知其耻。 #GoogleCN
67. Mixed feelings of grief and joy were aroused by Google’s retreat from China. The winner knew who the winner was, the loser did not think of himself as the loser, the honorable person knew what honor was, and the dishonorable person did not know their shame. #GoogleCN
January 13, 2010 02:17:10
68. The self-immolation movement, which is caused by forced demolition of the authorities, emits much carbon dioxide and unknown gas emissions which have incalculable impact on air quality and temperature change on the surface of the earth.
January 14, 2010 15:55:26
69. Short-sighted people see only defects of forced demolition, while ignoring the huge profits and the survival ethics of those in power. Forced demolition by the authorities is the largest as well as the most open and enduring case of organized crime in human history.
January 14, 2010 16:22:38
70. There has been an increase in execution efficiency and a decrease in execution cost from Yang Jia's judicial murder to today’s shot on the spot. It will be completed if consciousness of people is elevated to self-immolation.
January 16, 2010 18:06:38
71. The ethical basis of abolition of the death penalty considers value of life more important than all other human ethical values, and it is not the matter of willingness and unwillingness.
January 26, 2010 08:33:50
72. 四川政府不理解的是，谭作人是我们的一部分，最好的那一部分与我们同在，我们不会把他交出去。 #Tanzuoren
72. What the Sichuan government has not figured out is Tan Zuoren is a part of us. May the best part be with us, and we won’t hand him over. #Tanzuoren
February 9, 2010 08:42:46
73. There are no outdoor sports as graceful as throwing stones at a dictatorship in this world, and there are no interactive communications as exciting as the gang-fight style in the digital virtual world
March 10, 2010 08:03:08
74. If I may say so: freedom in society can only be achieved after the independence of the law is established.
March 17, 2010 23:47:41
75. 国家视说出事实的人、有见解的人、独立思考的人、愿意表达的人、没有恐惧的人视为自己的敌人。 #tanzuoren
75. The state regards people who tell the truth, are thoughtful, who are independent thinkers, who are willing to express their ideas and are fearless as its enemies. #tanzuoren
March 28, 2010 08:05:06
76. 犯贱的独裁者总是把鞭子递到你的手中。 #tanzuoren
76. Shameless dictators always put the whip in your hand. #tanzuoren
March 28, 2010 08:08:14
77. Everyone ignores me from now on, and they are not concerned about what I’ve said as well as my plight. Unfortunately, my plight is also the plight of China.
March 29, 2010 15:52:39
78. If you are hope to understand your motherland, you have already on the road to a life of crime. #zhaolianhai
March 30, 2010 09:49:02
79. You will become what your opponents want you to be when you are in despair, when you are insensitive, when you quit and don’t care anymore.
April 2, 2010 12:05:47
80. Lies and violence are two pillars of totalitarian power, it may also be said that lie is a form of violence.
April 8, 2010 06:40:59
81. Half of the efforts of the state are focused on preventing the people from obtaining and sharing information. The other half is devoted to putting in jail the people who have found the answers and are willing to share them with other people.
April 16, 2010 22:07:51
82. It would make more sense to say that you do not belong to a primate species than to say that you have nothing to do with politics.
April 16, 2010 22:18:12
83. You stand astride the state and the law, your political position is untouchable and unquestionable, you can put a dissident to death or let him disappear, you rely on threats and lies to maintain your system, you cover up things, tamper with things, act shamelessly, cheat and plunder. Do you still lack the guts to admit that you are a bunch of gangsters?
April 16, 2010 22:30:48
I merely defend one kind of system which permits itself to be overturned.
April 20, 2010 06:53:51
85. The nature of earthquake victims’ death in China was a murder, and there was evidence-destroying following the earthquake.
April 20, 2010 23:54:29
86. There are merely two types of governments in the world, one type is the democracy which pursues criticism, and another is the totalitarian government which pursues doom.
May 2, 2010 11:35:15
87. 不是每一处房屋都会倒下，不是每一个生命都会被忘记，不是每一座桥梁一定被阻断，不是每一个祈愿一定被谎言 。《念》
87. Not every house will collapse, not every life lived will be forgotten, not every bridge will collapse, and not every prayer will be disappointed. 《Commemoration》
May 12, 2010 07:24:51
88. A totalitarian regime won’t make you disappear, but totalitarianism will numb you so that your emotions and will completely vanish.
May 13, 2010 02:12:41
89. There are two eras of “Agrarian Revolution”. In the first one, the “overthrow the local despots and re-distributing the land” was about seizing wealth and power in the name of the people. The second one is now depriving peasants of the land which belongs to the whole people by deceptive means in order to stabilize the regime and to create enormour profits for a small minority.
May 21, 2010 08:11:32
90. You have lived your life in vain if you have not been extreme or radical. If you are not a commie fucker yet in China, you should have been reborn.
May 21, 2010 08:34:43
91. Not an inch of land belong to you, they can use every inch of land to imprison you.
May 21, 2010 09:10:19
92. The astonishing cluster of Foxconn worker suicides is the result of the collective actions of people who use Made-In-China products, whether you don't know or pretend not to know.
May 28, 2010 11:14:47
93. If you love life, you are already a potential enemy of the country.
June 9, 2010 08:35:47
94. Every insistence on anonymity is a surrender to power.
June 13, 2010 07:42:50
95. The very foundation of every arrogant act of every dictatorship is made possible by the cowardice of great numbers of anonymous people.
June 13, 2010 09:06:57
96. I can be patriotic. Preconditions are convincing myself to enjoy eating shit, being whipped, being trampled, being forgotten and altered, to enjoy violence and deception, lying and theft, laziness and silliness, as well as to betray my grass mud horse, then I can brag unblushingly: I am patriotic.
June 15, 2010 20:35:28
97. 如果我被官方指控 ，我将以沉默的方式放弃辩护、放弃上诉 、放弃任何类型的合作以示抗议，并表达对现有司法体系的蔑视。
97. If the regime prosecutes me, I will protest by silence, giving up defense and making appeals and other kinds of cooperation. I will express nothing but contempt for the current judicial system.
June 28, 2010 09:26:21
98. Where there is privilege there must be the generosity of noblesse oblige; where there is emotion, there must also be compassion.
July 6, 2010 08:05:47
Chengdu writer Liao Yiwu has been barred from leaving China and will not be able attend the New York Literary Festival A friend of Liao's has translated his response to Salman Rushdie and the New York International Literary Festival.
Letter of Thanks and Regrets to the New York International Literary Festival and to Mr. Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie because of his "The Satanic Letters" was once targeted for assassination by Khomeini with a price of USD 5 million on his head. In the 1980s, I was still a young man. The first time I heard about Rushdie, I was very moved.
I feel deeply honored to receive this second invitation from such a brave writer even though I am unable to attend the Literary Festival in faraway New York City. Yes, deeply honored although the state has caged me within my own country and my friends Ran Yunfei, Liu Xiaobo and Ai Weiwei are now suffering. Although I cannot meet the writers of the New York literary festival who are standing up for me, I will remember them forever.
In a certain conference hall in Norway in 2010, there was an empty chair for my old friend Mr. Liu Xiaobo. I hope that my writings, and my bearing witness to China's history and its current situation, will be worthy of the empty chair that you will leave for me at the opening ceremony of the International Literary Festival.
Chinese writer Liao Yiwu
Letter from Salman Rushdie to Liao YiwuDear Liao Yiwu,In the sense that your groundbreaking, vivid writings about China’s history and current situation have admirers around the world, not least here in the United States, you are of course most worthy of the empty chair.In the sense that the chair symbolizes your government’s attempt to suppress your voice, you are most decidedly unworthy of such treatment, as are your colleagues Liu Xiaobo, Ai Weiwei, Ran Yunfei, and the many other writers, artists, and activists who currently restrained from addressing audiences in your country and around the world.Quite simply, we miss you. We had for months been looking forward to welcoming you to the 2011 PEN World Voices Festival in New York, and to your performances at two of this year’s premiere events. In denying you permission to be with us, your government has not only once again impinged on your right, guaranteed under Chinese and international law, to write, speak, and travel freely; it has impinged on our right to see you and hear you in person. We feel your absence—which, I suppose, is the ultimate testimony to the power of your words.Please know that I and all of my colleagues at PEN American Center stand with you, and that we will continue to protest all attempts to limit your freedom to write.Respectfully yours,Salman Rushdie
The election of Harvard law professor Lobsang Sangay as the next Kalon Tripa, or prime minister, of the Tibetan government-in-exile, is being hailed as a huge success for the Dalai Lama's goal of democratising the Tibetan exile community. To read the whole story, click here The Gamble of Tibetan Exiles.