Activists are urging Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s opposition leader, to bring up the topic of jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo during her first visit to China, where she arrived yesterday.
Suu Kyi’s visit gives Beijing a chance to cozy up to the woman whose National League for Democracy party is expected to fare well in the elections in November (Suu Kyi herself is banned from becoming president). It’s an opportunity for China to mend ties with its neighbor, especially after the Myanmar Air Force bomb incident in March.
Hong Lei, a spokesman from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said that China hopes Myanmar “will answer to relevant requests put in by China, stop the warfare, ease the tension, and restore peace, stability and normal order to the China-Myanmar border area at an early date”.
In the meantime, activists are calling on Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the world’s most outspoken pro-democracy campaigners, to urge the release of fellow laureate Liu Xiaobo.
Liu was arrested for “inciting subversion of state power” in 2009 after organizing a petition to end the one-party rule. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for advocating human rights the following year.
“It is her moral duty. I would certainly do so if I were her,” Chinese activist Hu Jia told the Guardian. “She will not be arrested or silenced. On the contrary, the action would win her praise and support.”
Beijing, however, has already stressed that such demands will be rejected.
“There is no reason to alter the judgement made in accordance with the law by China’s judicial organs,” spokesman Hong told reporters as Suu Kyi was on a flight into Beijing.
Suu Kyi will be in China until Sunday, and is set to meet with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
No information about her visit will be disclosed to foreign media.
[Images via 163]
By Sharon Choi