Some of the world’s leading democracy and human rights experts will gather virtually to discuss prospects for China’s democracy movement on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, as the nation combats repression via Beijing’s new controls over Hong Kong and political freedoms. This includes Teng Biao, Hunter College’s (NYC) Grove Human Rights Scholar and an exiled spokesman for Chinese democracy.
Mandate Democracy®, a nonpartisan, civil democracy organization, will present the July 29 session, running from 2-4 p.m. EDT, from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The panel – entitled “China: Democracy or Autocracy? What is the Path Ahead?” – will highlight the leadership, legacy and inspiration of Liu Xiaobo, China’s “Empty Chair” Nobel Peace Prize winner and an intellectual force, set against the nation’s current political turmoil. (Teng Biao knew Liu personally.)
This month also marks three years since Liu’s death while serving an 11-year sentence in Chinese prison.
Featured panelists also include Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, prominent author and editor of “The Journey of Liu Xiaobo: From Dark Horse to Nobel Laureate,” China Director of Human Rights Watch, Dr. Sophie Richardson, and lifelong China expert and University of California, Riverside, professor, Perry Link (emeritus professor at Princeton (NJ)).
Teng Biao has supported pro-democracy efforts in Hong Kong and continues to denounce legislative measures that strengthen China’s grip over the city. Because of his promotion of human rights and democratization in China, Teng Biao was kidnapped three times by Chinese secret police. He was detained and severely tortured in 2011 amid China’s pro-democracy protests and “Jasmine crackdown.” Teng Biao was eventually released by Chinese law enforcement.
Teng Biao noted, “Liu Xiaobo’s life will be an unstoppable inspiration for the fight for freedom and democracy in China. Yet his death is a huge symbol of suffering under the CCP’s brutal regime, and a symbol of the evil consequences of the West’s appeasement policy toward China.”
Richardson, co-panelist, is the author of “China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.” As the China director at Human Rights Watch, she has penned numerous articles on domestic Chinese political reform, democratization and human rights.
Commenting on the event, Lester A. Fettig, founder and managing director of sponsor organization Mandate Democracy®, added, “China’s the ‘critical mass test’ for breakthrough governance mechanics, transcending party-based dysfunction and isolated authoritarianism. Our organization, Mandate Democracy®, creates independent, online i-Voting referenda to any cell phone, cyber-secure voting for universal access and suffrage.”
Responders to the panel will include Andrew Nathan, sinologist and professor of political science at Colombia University, Cui Weiping, a retired professor of the Beijing Film Academy and Xiaorong Li, an associate professor of Chinese literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
To register, visit: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1680299366585787407.
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