Cui bono: It would be dangerous to take the New Silk Road at face value
Last summer, Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese human rights and democracy campaigner, died from liver cancer.
He had been serving an 11-year prison term. When he had been told that his cancer was terminal, he had asked for permission to travel abroad for treatment, but his request had been turned down by the authorities. It was the final indignity he had to endure.
A constant campaigner for free elections and the dismantling of the one-party state in China, Liu was repeatedly jailed for his efforts. When he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, it was while serving a sentence for subversion. To send out a message and punish him further, the Communist government placed his wife under house arrest.
Following his passing, the Nobel Committee chastised the Chinese government, declaring that it bore a heavy responsibility for his death. But they may as well have been talking to a fragment of the Berlin Wall. Liu Xiaobo was just another name on a long list of dissidents that the C