Liu Xiaobo’s Fate Reflects Fading Pressure on China Over Human Rights
Liu Xiaobo, China’s only Nobel Peace Prize laureate, catapulted to fame in 1989, when the Communist Party’s violent crackdown on protests in Tiananmen Square created an international uproar. Now, nearly three decades later, Mr. Liu has died of cancer while in state custody, a bedridden and silenced example of Western governments’ inability, or reluctance, to push back against China’s resurgent authoritarians. Mr. Liu’s fate reflects how human rights issues have receded in Western diplomacy with China. And it shows how Chinese Communist Party leaders, running a strong state bristling with security powers, can disdain foreign pleas, even for a man near death.