It's the eve of this year's Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Norway, but you're not going to read much about it online in Chinese.
Unless, unfortunately, you're on Twitter, where tweeps now in Oslo have already begun live-tweeting Thursday's pre-ceremony events, and where there's also rumor of a live video broadcast in the works. See Global Voices Online‘s earlier posts on China's first Nobel prize here and here.
Amnesty International was smart in setting up the @NobelPeace2010 account to aggregate Chinese users’ messages to Liu Xiaobo, now in prison, where the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded in his absence. Here's a selection of what Chinese netizens are sending Liu Xiaobo:
Heartily congratulate Liu Xiaobo in being awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, and I hope he and Liu Xia @liuxia64 can go claim it together. I greatly fear that China will hold the Nobel Peace Prize again in 2011. #NobelPeace
You and I, we're all in prison, it's just the size of the cell that differs. I hope that on the day you regain your freedom, the people of this country will be free too. #LiuXiaobo
恭喜晓波大叔，恭喜中国公民 @NobelPeace2010 及#LiuXiaobo
Congratulations to Uncle Liu, and congratulations to the citizens of China #LiuXiaobo
A few days ago I was watching some footage from July 1989, which featured Liu Xiaobo. For me, I had to learn about him from a distant era. It appears that this year's Peace Prize has truly lived up to its name!
It's fine if you don't know how many gold medals China won in the 2010 Asian Games, or all the recipients of the Two Bombs, One Satellite award, but come this Friday, please remember this man Liu Xiaobo, now serving time in Jinzhou prison for fighting for our rights!
We are witnessing history as it unfolds, and history is watching us, pushing us on, and changing us. I believe there will come a time when the people of this country wake up, and it might just be tomorrow!
Congratulations to Liu Xiaobo for pushing for freedom for the Chinese people!
Congratulations to Mr. Liu Xiaobo for winning the award. Long live freedom.
There will come a day, when Liu Xiaobo is written into textbooks, and every child will know there once was this man who, in fighting for their freedom, lost his.
The revolution is not over yet, comrades, the struggle must continue.
Not online; Chinese microblogs are now deleting the most oblique references to tomorrow's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, and even freezing accounts [zh]. As for blogs, a relatively stringent effort only brought up this one post from Bokee blogger and professor of art at Hebei Normal University, Zhu Xinghua, although even that has since been harmonized. In it he describes the frustration felt in being represented by the central government regarding Liu's having been awarded the Prize:
I spent a few days traveling throughout September this year. When I got home, I found a notice stuck to the door, left there by one of the national census workers. The next day, I took my hukou papers
as ID and went down to the neighborhood office to register. The census staff were grateful that I'd come down on my own. Having been able to register should be proof enough that I am Chinese, and I'm happy for it.
So then, yesterday, I saw statements made by the our country's Ministry for Foreign Affairs spokesperson regarding Liu Xiaobo; he said, “with regard to the question of Liu Xiaobo, those with the most say in the matter are the 1.3 billion Chinese people themselves, and not just a few people on the Nobel Committee.” It really shocked me to hear him say this.
A few days ago, Chinese journalist Rui Chenggang represented Asia in asking a question, angering many netizens. Actually, I wasn't bothered much by it, because regardless of whether or not Rui Chenggang represents me, I don't stand to lose much. Statements made by the MFA spokesperson two days ago, on the other hand, represent the power behind my country's government, and his statements have led me to doubt whether or now I am still Chinese.
Am I still even Chinese?