Liu Xiaobo

Dissidents may be acting shy, says Arthur Li

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 March, 2011, 12:00am


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Outspoken former education chief Professor Arthur Li Kwok-cheung has defended the human rights situation on the mainland, saying activists who have gone to ground recently could simply be shunning the media spotlight.

The former secretary for education and manpower, who is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was speaking on the sidelines of the plenary session of the top national advisory body in Beijing.

Li was asked about his views on why people like Zhao Lianhai, who led parents of children made ill by tainted milk, could not be contacted.

He was also asked about Liu Xia , wife of jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo , who was put under house arrest. Zhao's family did not have 'any problem at all. Perhaps it is him who does not want contact with the outside world.'

And about Liu Xia, he said: 'It's just you saying she hasn't committed any offence. But there may be some inside information which we don't know.'

Li praised the mainland's economic success, saying critics of its human rights situation should consider the improvements made in people's lives. 'Even if it deprives people of all human rights, it has indeed raised the income of a fourth of the world's population.'