The Nobel Peace Prize medal and diploma meant for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo sit on an empty chair that he would have occupied, during the awards ceremony in Oslo in December 2010. Liu was at the time serving an 11-year prison term for inciting subversion of state power. Photo: AFP

Tragedy of Liu Xiaobo shows why China is not Mandela’s South Africa

John Chan says Liu Xiaobo was misled by an illusory but honest belief in a peaceful change to democratic governance, but the confident one-party system of China probably renders any such hopes futile

Topic |   China’s Communist Party

TOP PICKS

The Nobel Peace Prize medal and diploma meant for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo sit on an empty chair that he would have occupied, during the awards ceremony in Oslo in December 2010. Liu was at the time serving an 11-year prison term for inciting subversion of state power. Photo: AFP
READ FULL ARTICLE
John Chan

John Chan

John Chan is a founding member of the Democratic Party, and also of its predecessor, the United Democrats of Hong Kong. A keen observer of local politics, he has been a regular commentator in the local press since the late 1980s. He worked briefly as a civil servant in the colonial government before turning to law. As a solicitor, he worked extensively on the mainland during the early years of China’s economic reform, where he gained an in-depth understanding of China's political, economic and social development.