The threat of charter 08

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Liu Xiaobo, Charter 08 and the Challenges of Political Reform in China, 2012, pp. 119 - 139
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In terms of the text itself, Charter 08 is a moderate proposal using ideas and concepts borrowed either from legal and political documents of the Chinese Communist Party (hereafter "CCP" or "Party") or from well-known international human rights documents universally accepted in the contemporary world, such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations), Declaration of Human Rights (France) and Declaration of Independence (USA).1 Even the most controversial concept of "federal republic of China," which has been singled out by the CCP government as a proof of the "crime of subversion," was also part of the early CCP political program. Why, then, have Charter 08 and its primary organizer Liu Xiaobo been met with such a harsh suppression by the CCP government? This chapter highlights the contrast between rhetoric and reality in communist China and argues that Charter 08 is a serious threat to the Chinese communist regime in at least three ways: it heralds a grand coalition of liberal forces in China; it presents a viable alternative to the Chinese communist dictatorship in China; and it provides a rallying point and political goal for the amorphous but increasingly vigorous rights defense movement in China. © Hong Kong University Press 2012. All rights reserved.
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