Why a HK group feels Liu Xia should be left alone for now

July 18, 2018 11:59
The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China held a candlelit vigil at Tamar Park on July 13 to mark the first anniversary of the death of Chinese rights activist Liu Xiaobo. Photo: HKEJ

On the night of July 13, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China (or the “Alliance”) held a candlelit vigil at Tamar Park, Admiralty to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Chinese rights campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.

During the event, participants said they wish the best for Liu Xiaobo's wife, Liu Xia, who had gone to Germany on July 10 for medical treatment after being freed from de facto house arrest in China.

After Liu Xia left China, some media reports suggested that Hong Kong's Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements was planning to send someone to visit her in Germany.

However, the group was later said to have clarified that they have no plan to get in touch with Liu at this point unless she hopes to speak with them or needs help. After all, it said, unlike her late husband, Liu Xia is just a poet, not a political figure.

As chairman of the Alliance and former Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan told the media, the most important thing right now is to allow Liu to take a good rest and avoid asking her to attend any public assembly or hearing. Nor should people eagerly expect Liu Xia to fill her late husband’s shoes in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Alliance stressed that it would continue to fight for the release of other mainland dissidents that are still being held in custody and draw public attention to their situation.

Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen crackdown, and the Alliance -- which organizes Hong Kong's annual June 4 candlelight vigil at Victoria Park -- is gearing up for a wide array of commemorative activities.

For example, Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, vice-chairman of the Alliance, said they are now working aggressively on, among other projects, re-establishment of the June 4 museum.

At the same time, Tsoi said members of the Alliance are also going to seize the opportunity presented by the anniversary to reflect on the course of the political developments in the mainland over the past 30 years, hoping that they could draw some useful insights into how they should carry on with their cause in the coming days.

Tsoi said that even though the atmosphere of democratization in the mainland doesn’t look promising at this stage, the people of Hong Kong can still make a difference as long as they stay the course and persevere to express their concern toward the development of mainland’s pro-democracy movement.

Tsoi cited the recent gratitude expressed by Li Wenzu, the wife of human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang who was detained by the mainland authorities three years ago, to the people of Hong Kong for their support during the past three years, saying that Hong Kong can still continue to "inject positive energy" into the democracy movement in the mainland.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 13

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.