Posted by: Third Tone Devil | 11 October 2010

Saying no to North Korea

Protests against events in other countries, if they concern no Chinese, are very rare in China — although there are expectations that this will change with the maturing of a Chinese middle class that will engage, for example, in charity and volunteering abroad. China’s liberal dissidents have also been much less inclined to protest oppression by other states than their former peers in Eastern Europe. And protests against North Korea are surprisingly few anywhere, considering that it is undoubtedly the most oppressive regime in the world.

So it is interesting that the writer Zhou Duo, in a 28 May letter only now circulated on the Internet (I got it via Minjian International), applied for police permission to hold a one-man demonstration and hunger strike (!) on 4 June of this year. (He couldn’t of course have thought that it would be approved.) The letter argues that China currently faces no external threat except that posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and the proposed demonstration was to protest these as well as to demand the cessation of Chinese aid to North Korea.

Zhou Duo was imprisoned after 1989 as one of the main “black hands” behind the student protests, along with Liu Xiaobo.


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