The Associated Press BEIJING (AP) — As tributes rolled in Friday to mourn China’s most famous political prisoner, a newspaper published by the ruling Communist Party dismissed late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo as a pawn of the West whose legacy will soon fade.
The newspaper’s editorial marked a rare mention of Liu in the Chinese-language media, possibly indicating a desire to guide popular opinion amid widespread reporting of his death in the overseas press and on social media platforms, such as Twitter that are blocked in China.
Liu lived a “tragic life” because he sought to confront Chinese mainstream society with outside support, The Global Times said in its editorial headlined, “Liu Xiaobo a victim led astray by West.”
“Liu’s last days were politicized by the forces overseas. They used Liu’s illness as a tool to boost their image and demonize China,” the paper said.
“The West has bestowed upon Liu a halo, which will not linger,” it said. “By granting him the Nobel Prize, the West has ‘kidnapped’ Liu. However, the West only puts a halo on those useful to them.”
While Liu did have considerable renown abroad — official censorship made him virtually a non-person at home — the party frequently uses the specter of Western manipulation to demonize its critics.
“Liu lived in an era when China witnessed the most rapid growth in recent history, but he attempted to confront Chinese mainstream society under Western support. This has determined his tragic life,” the paper continued. “If he could live longer, he would never have achieved political goals that are in opposition to the path of history.”Speech