The latest report from China says Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has been confirmed dead.
Liu Xiaobo was said to have died in the Northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, where he was being treated for late-stage liver cancer.
A statement released by the Shenyang legal bureau said that Liu suffered multiple organ failure and efforts to save him was abortive.
It would be recalled that Liu Xiaobo was jailed for 16 years for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms.
He was released jail on health grounds to a hospital in Shenyang.
According to his Wikipedia profile, Liu was born in Changchun, Jilin, in 1955 to an intellectual family. In 1969, during the Down to the Countryside Movement, Liu’s father took him to Horqin Right Front Banner, Inner Mongolia. After he finished middle school in 1974, he was sent to the countryside to work on a farm in Jilin.
In 1977, Liu was admitted to the Department of Chinese Literature at Jilin University, where he created a poetry group known as “The Innocent Hearts” (Chi Zi Xin) with six schoolmates.
In 1982, he graduated with BA in literature before being admitted as a research student at the Department of Chinese Literature at Beijing Normal University, where he received an MA in literature in 1984 and started teaching as a lecturer thereafter. That year, he married Tao Li, with whom he had a son named Liu Tao in 1985.
In 1986, Liu started his doctoral study program and published his literary critiques in various magazines. He became well known as a “dark horse” for his radical opinions and sharp comments on the official doctrines and establishments. This shocked both literary and ideological circles, and his influence on Chinese intellectuals was dubbed “Liu Xiaobo Shock” or “Liu Xiaobo Phenomenon”.
In 1987, his first book, Criticism of the Choice: Dialogues with Li Zehou, was published and became a bestseller non-fiction. It comprehensively criticised the Chinese tradition of Confucianism and posed a frank challenge to Li Zehou, a rising ideological star who had a strong influence on young intellectuals in China at the time.
In June 1988, Liu received a PhD in literature. His doctoral thesis, Aesthetic and Human Freedom, passed the examination unanimously and was published as his second book.
In the same year he became a lecturer at the same department. He soon became a visiting scholar at several universities, including Columbia University, the University of Oslo, and the University of Hawaii.
He returned home as the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests broke out. This year saw also the publication of his third book, The Fog of Metaphysics, a comprehensive review on Western philosophies. Soon, all of his works were banned.