Liu Xiaobo and China's future

The Beijing elite's vehement reaction to an imprisoned dissident's Nobel award is a sign of its political vulnerability. By Kerry Brown, cross-posted from

The award of the Nobel prize for peace to the imprisoned Chinese rights activist Liu Xiaobo on 7 October 2010 is a moment rich in significance for all involved. For the dissident movement in China, it gives its cause a lease of life. For those western governments that have been saying less and less about specific human-rights cases in China, it offers an occasion to reflect on the justness of this course.