Another day, another Chinese person wins a peace prize. Dissident writer Liao Yiwu has been named the 2012 winner of the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (Peace Prize of the German Book Trade) at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
In his speech at the award ceremony yesterday, the outspoken writer slammed China for its “bloody suppression” of critics as well as the West for its misguided belief that doing business with China would help to liberalise it.
Said Liao (via Deutsche Welle):
“Around the world, the prevailing opinion is that the economic upturn of China will inevitably bring with it political reforms that will make a democracy out of a dictatorship.”
“For this reason, all those countries that imposed sanctions against China at the time of the Tiananmen massacre now want to be the first to shake hands with the executioners and do business with them. This is the case even though this same executioner continues to kill and imprison people.”
Liao also rejected China’s territorial claim to Tibet, saying that it had traditionally been regarded as a separate entity.
“This big empire must break apart, for the peaceful well-being of all humanity and for the mothers of Tiananmen,” he said. The ceremony was attended by German President Joachim Gauck.
In an earlier interview with the Spiegel, Liao denounced Nobel literature prize winner Mo Yan as a “state poet”.
Interview with Liao Yiwu on Deutsche Welle:
Books by Liao Yiwu
The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories: China From the Bottom Up
God Is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist China
For a Song and a Hundred Songs: A Poet’s Journey through a Chinese Prison