After the Games, an overview on freedom of speech, population control, and prison camps in the 'Land of Harmony'
Presented by Crossroads Cultural Center and Outside the Box
Harry Wu is a survivor of the Chinese Laogai in which he spent 19 years. In the 1980s, he exposed the system of forced labour in China and did for the "laogai" what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn did for the gulags of Stalin's Soviet Union .
After Alexander Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel Peace Prize, the word Gulag was added to dictionaries of all languages. In 2003, the word Laogai was added into the Oxford English Dictionary . “Laogai” means political violence in China and the forced labor camp system under China ’s Communist regime.
The Laogai is incompatible with freedom. While one of the main concerns of civil rights advocates for China would have to be a long-term policy toward a free and democratic government and lifestyle ( policy that engage with the tyrants of communist China through money, trade and technology transfer to promote democracy and improve human rights) we at Crossroads would like to start this dialogue at the level of the individual “I.”
It has been said that Chinese culture is a collective one that cannot easily embrace the concept of the value of the individual, but Mr. Wu himself has contradicted this assertion as hypocritical, implying that knowledge of the value of the individual “I” is intrinsic in the make-up of each person, and can only be reduced over time with severe and violent means, that in any case (or at least in his case) will fail to completely dominate the heart. It will fail because the heart of man is a relationship with the Mystery that can not be dominate by anything. The need for goodness, justice, truth and happiness that constitutes man's ultimate identity tell us that men in all ages and of all races can not be dominated.
About this EventDate: Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Location: George Washington University - Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street NW, Room 113 ▪ Washington, D.C. Metro: Blue and Orange Lines, Foggy Bottom/GWU
About the Speaker
Founder and Executive Director Laogai Research Foundation