Liu Xiaobo
Name: Liu Xiaobo
Occupation: Writer
Gender: Male
Birth Day: December 28, 1955
Death Date: 13 July 2017(2017-07-13) (aged 61)
Shenyang, Liaoning, China
Age: Aged 61
Birth Place: Changchun, China, China
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

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Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo was born on December 28, 1955 in Changchun, China, China (61 years old). Liu Xiaobo is a Writer, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Nationality: China. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.

Net Worth 2020

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Family Members

# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 Liu Xia Spouse N/A N/A N/A
#2 Tao Li Spouse N/A N/A N/A

Does Liu Xiaobo Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Liu Xiaobo died on 13 July 2017(2017-07-13) (aged 61)
Shenyang, Liaoning, China.


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Biography Timeline


Liu was born on 28 December 1955 in Changchun, Jilin province, to a family of intellectuals. Liu's father, Liu Ling (刘伶), was born in 1931 in Huaide County, Jilin. A professor of Chinese at Northeast Normal University, he died of liver disease in September 2011. Liu's mother, Zhang Suqin (张素勤; 張素勤), worked in the Northeast Normal University Nursery School. Liu Xiaobo was the third-born in a family of five boys.


In 1969, during the Down to the Countryside Movement, Liu's father took him to Horqin Right Front Banner, Inner Mongolia. His father was a professor who remained loyal to the Communist Party. After finishing 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 founded a poetry group known as "The Innocent Hearts" (赤子心詩社) with six schoolmates. In 1982, he graduated with a BA in literature before being admitted to the Department of Chinese Literature at Beijing Normal University as a research student, 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 renowned as a "dark horse" for his radical opinions and scathing comments on the official doctrines and establishments. Opinions such as these shocked both literary and ideological circles, and his influence on Chinese intellectuals was dubbed the "Liu Xiaobo Shock" or the "Liu Xiaobo Phenomenon". In 1987, his first book, Criticism of the Choice: Dialogs with Li Zehou, was published and subsequently became a nonfiction bestseller. It comprehensively criticized the Chinese tradition of Confucianism, and posed a frank challenge to Li Zehou, a rising ideological star who had a strong influence on contemporaneous young intellectuals in China.


In June 1988, Liu received a PhD in literature. His doctoral thesis, Esthetic and Human Freedom, passed the examination unanimously and was subsequently published as his second book. That 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. During the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Liu was in the United States but he decided to return to China to join the movement. He was later named one of the "four junzis of Tiananmen Square" for persuading students to leave the square and thus saving hundreds of lives. That year also saw the publication of his third book, The Fog of Metaphysics, a comprehensive review of Western philosophies. Soon, all of his works were banned in China.

Evolving from his esthetic notion of "individual subjectivity" as opposed to Li Zehou's theory of esthetic subjectivity which combined Marxist materialism and Kantian idealism, he upheld the notion of "esthetic freedom" which was based on the individualistic conception of freedom and esthetics. He also strongly criticized Chinese intellectuals' "traditional attitude of searching for rationalism and harmony as a slave mentality" just as it was criticized by radical left-wing literary critic Lu Hsün during the New Culture Movement. He also echoed the New Cultural Movement's call for wholesale westernization and the rejection of Chinese traditional culture. In a 1988 interview with Hong Kong's Liberation Monthly (now known as Open Magazine), he said "modernization means wholesale westernization, choosing a human life is choosing a Western way of life. The difference between the Western and the Chinese governing system is humane vs in-humane, there's no middle ground ... Westernization is not a choice of a nation, but a choice for the human race."


On 27 April 1989, Liu returned to Beijing and immediately became an active supporter of the popular movement. When the army seemed ready to violently eject the students who persistently occupied Tiananmen Square in order to challenge the government and the army that was enforcing its declaration of martial law, he initiated a four-man three-day hunger strike on 2 June. Later referred to as the "Tiananmen Four Gentlemen Hunger Strike", the action earned the trust of the students. He requested that both the government and the students abandon the ideology of class struggle and adopt a new political culture of dialogue and compromise. Although it was too late to prevent the massacre which started on the night of 3 June from occurring beyond the square, he and his colleagues successfully negotiated with the student leaders and the army commander so the several thousand students who remained in the square would all be allowed to peacefully withdraw from it, thus preventing a possibly much larger scale of bloodshed.


In January 1991, 19 months after his arrest, Liu Xiaobo was convicted of "counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement" but he was exempted from criminal punishment due to his "major meritorious action" for preventing what could have been a bloody confrontation in Tiananmen Square. After his release, he was divorced; both his ex-wife and son subsequently emigrated to the US. He resumed his writing, mostly on human rights and political issues, but was not allowed to publish them in Mainland China.


In 1992, while in Taiwan, he published his first book after his imprisonment, The Monologues of a Doomsday's Survivor, a controversial memoir which contains his confessions and his political criticism of the popular movement in 1989.


In January 1993, Liu was invited to visit Australia and the United States for the interviews in the documentary film The Gate of Heavenly Peace. Although many of his friends suggested that he take refuge abroad, Liu returned to China in May 1993 and continued his freelance writing.


On 18 May 1995, the Chinese police took Liu into custody for launching a petition campaign on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the Tienanmen protests calling on the government to reassess the event and initiate political reform. He was held under residential surveillance in the suburbs of Beijing for nine months. He was released in February 1996 but was arrested again on 8 October for writing an October Tenth Declaration, coauthored by him and another prominent dissident, Wang Xizhe, mainly on the Taiwan issue, that advocated a peaceful reunification in order to oppose the Chinese Communist Party's forceful threats against the island. He was ordered to serve three years of reeducation through labor "for disturbing public order" for that statement.


In 1996, while he was still imprisoned in the labor camp, Liu married Liu Xia, who herself not a prisoner. Because she was the only person from the outside allowed to visit him in prison, she was deemed his "most important link to the outside world."


After his release on 7 October 1999, Liu Xiaobo resumed his freelance writing. However, it was reported that the government built a sentry station next to his home and his phone calls and internet connections were tapped.


In his letter to his friend Liao Yiwu in 2000, he expressed his thoughts on the prospects of the democracy movement in China:

In 2000, while in Taiwan, Liu published the book A Nation That Lies to Conscience, a 400-page political criticism. Also published, in Hong Kong, was a Selection of Poems, a 450-page collection of the poems as correspondences between him and his wife during his imprisonment; it was coauthored by Liu and his wife. The last of three books which he published during the year was published in Mainland China, later titled "Selected Poems of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia" (劉曉波劉霞詩選), a 250-page collection of literary critiques coauthored by a popular young writer and himself under his unknown pen name of "Lao Xiao". The same year, Liu participated in founding the "Independent Chinese PEN Center," and was elected to both its board of directors and as its president in November 2003; he was reelected to both positions two years later. In 2007, he did not seek reelection as president but held his position as a board member until he was detained by the police in December 2008.


In 2002, he reflected on his initial Maoist-flavored radical esthetic and political views in the 1980s:


In 2003, when Liu started writing a human rights report on China at his home, his computer, letters and documents were all confiscated by the government. He once said, "at Liu Xia's [Liu's wife] birthday, her best friend brought two bottles of wine to [my home] but was blocked by the police from coming in. I ordered a [birthday] cake and the police also rejected the man who delivered the cake to us. I quarreled with them and the police said, 'it is for the sake of your security. It has happened many bomb attacks in these days.'" Those measures were loosened until 2007, prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.


In his 2004 article titled "Victory to the Anglo-American Freedom Alliance", he praised the U.S.-led post-Cold War conflicts as "best examples of how war should be conducted in a modern civilization." He wrote "regardless of the savagery of the terrorists, and regardless of the instability of Iraq's situation, and, what's more, regardless of how patriotic youth might despise proponents of the United States such as myself, my support for the invasion of Iraq will not waver. Just as, from the beginning, I believed that the military intervention of Britain and the United States would be victorious, I am still full of belief in the final victory of the Freedom Alliance and the democratic future of Iraq, and even if the armed forces of Britain and the United States should encounter some obstacles such as those that they are currently facing, this belief of mine will not change." He predicted "a free, democratic and peaceful Iraq will emerge."

Liu's human rights work received international recognition. In 2004, Reporters Without Borders awarded him the Fondation de France Prize as a defender of press freedom.


In January 2005, following the death of former Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang, who had shown sympathy towards the student demonstrations in 1989, Liu was immediately put under house arrest for two weeks before he learned about the death of Zhao. The same year, he published two more books in the US, The Future of Free China Exists in Civil Society, and Single-Blade Poisonous Sword: Criticism of Chinese Nationalism.


Liu admitted in 2006 in another interview with Open Magazine (formerly known as Liberation Monthly) that his 1988 response of "300 years of colonialism" was extemporaneous, although he did not intend to retract it, because it represented "an extreme expression of his longheld belief". The quote was nonetheless used against him. He has commented, "Even today [in 2006], radical patriotic 'angry youth' still frequently use these words to paint me with 'treason'."


Liu Xiaobo actively participated in the writing of Charter 08 and signed it along with more than three hundred Chinese citizens. The Charter is a manifesto that was released on 10 December 2008 in order to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was written in the style of the Czechoslovak Charter 77, and calls for more freedom of expression, human rights, more democratic elections, the privatization of state enterprises and land, and economic liberalism. As of September 2010, the Charter has collected over 10,000 signatures.

Liu's detention was condemned worldwide by both human rights organizations and foreign countries. On 11 December 2008, the U.S. Department of State called for Liu's release, which was followed on 22 December 2008 by a similar request from a consortium of scholars, writers, lawyers and human rights advocates. Additionally, on 21 January 2009, 300 international writers, including Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Ha Jin and Jung Chang, called for Liu's release in a statement put out through PEN. In March 2009, the One World Film Festival awarded Liu Xiaobo the Homo Homini Award, organized by the People in Need foundation, for promoting freedom of speech, democratic principles and human rights.


In 2009 during his trial for "inciting subversion of state power" due to his participation in drafting the Charter 08 manifesto which demanded freedom of expression, human rights and democratic elections, he wrote an essay known as "I Have No Enemies", stating that "the mentality of enmity can poison a nation's spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society's tolerance and humanity, and block a nation's progress towards freedom and democracy", and he declared that he had no enemies, and no hatred.

Two days before the official release of Charter 08, late on the evening of 8 December 2008, Liu was taken into custody by the police, as was Zhang Zuhua, another scholar and Charter 08 signatory. According to Zhang, the two were detained on suspicion of collecting signatures for the Charter. While Liu was detained in solitary confinement, he was forbidden to meet with either his lawyer or his family, but he was allowed to eat lunch with his wife, Liu Xia, and two policemen on New Year's Day 2009. On 23 June 2009, the Beijing procuratorate approved Liu's arrest on charges of "suspicion of inciting subversion of state power," a crime under Article 105 of China's Criminal Law. In a Xinhua news release announcing Liu's arrest, the Beijing Public Security Bureau alleged that Liu had incited the subversion of state power and the overthrow of the socialist system through methods such as spreading rumors and slander, citing almost verbatim Article 105; the Beijing PSB also noted that Liu had "fully confessed".

On 1 December 2009, Beijing police transferred Liu's case to the procuratorate for investigation and processing; on 10 December, the procuratorate formally indicted Liu on charges of "inciting subversion of state power" and sent his lawyers, Shang Baojun and Ding Xikui, the indictment document. He was tried at Beijing No. 1 Intermediate Court on 23 December 2009. His wife was not permitted to observe the hearing, although his brother-in-law was present. Diplomats from more than a dozen countries – including the U.S., Britain, Canada, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand – were denied access to the court in order to watch the trial and they all stood outside the court for its duration. Among them were Gregory May, political officer at the U.S. Embassy, and Nicholas Weeks, first secretary of the Swedish Embassy.

In December 2009, the European Union and United States issued formal appeals calling for the unconditional release of Liu Xiaobo. China's government, responding to the international calls prior to the verdict, stated that other nations should "respect China's judicial sovereignty and not do things that will interfere in China's internal affairs".


Liu wrote a statement, entitled "I have no enemies", intending for it to be read at his trial. He was never given the right to speak. The essay was later read in the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, which Liu was unable to attend due to his imprisonment. On 25 December 2009, Liu was sentenced to eleven years' imprisonment and two years' deprivation of political rights by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court on charges of "inciting subversion of state power". According to Liu's family and counsel, he planned to appeal the judgment. In the verdict, Charter 08 was named as part of the evidence supporting his conviction. John Pomfret of The Washington Post said Christmas Day was chosen to dump the news because the Chinese government believed Westerners were less likely to take notice on a holiday.

Responding to the verdict, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay expressed concern about the deterioration of political rights in China. German Chancellor Angela Merkel strongly criticized the verdict, stating "despite the great progress in other areas in the expression of views, I regret that the Chinese government still massively restricts press freedom." Canada and Switzerland also condemned the verdict. The Republic of China President Ma Ying-jeou called on Beijing to "tolerate dissent". On 6 January 2010, former Czech president Václav Havel joined with other communist-era dissidents at the Chinese Embassy in Prague to present a petition calling for Liu's release. On 22 January 2010, European Association for Chinese Studies sent an open letter to Hu Jintao on behalf of over 800 scholars from 36 countries calling for Liu's release.

On 18 January 2010, Liu was nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize by Václav Havel, the 14th Dalai Lama, André Glucksmann, Vartan Gregorian, Mike Moore, Karel Schwarzenberg, Desmond Tutu and Grigory Yavlinsky. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu stated that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu would be "totally wrong". Geir Lundestad, a secretary of the Nobel Committee, stated the award would not be influenced by Beijing's opposition. On 25 September 2010, The New York Times reported that a petition in support of the Nobel nomination was being circulated in China.

On 14 September 2010, the Mayor of Reykjavík, Jón Gnarr, met on an unrelated matter with CPC Politburo member Liu Qi and demanded China set the dissident Liu Xiaobo free. Also that September Václav Havel, Dana Němcová and Václav Malý, leaders of Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution, published an open letter in the International Herald Tribune calling for the award to be given to Liu, while a petition began to circulate soon afterwards.

On 6 October 2010, the non-governmental organization Freedom Now, which serves as an international counsel to Liu Xiaobo as retained by his family, publicly released a letter from 30 members of the U.S. Congress to President Barack Obama, urging him to directly raise both Liu's case and that of fellow imprisoned dissident Gao Zhisheng to Chinese President Hu Jintao at the G-20 Summit in November 2010. The Republic of China's President Ma Ying-jiu congratulated Liu on winning the Nobel Prize and requested that the Chinese authorities improve their impression in the eyes of the world by respecting human rights, but did not call for his release from prison.

On 15 October 2010, the China News Service indicated that in 2008 Liu had received a financial endowment from the National Endowment for Democracy, which is "a Washington-based nonprofit funded largely by the US Congress".

On 8 October 2010, the Nobel Committee awarded Liu the Nobel Peace Prize "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China", saying that Liu had long been front-runner as the recipient of the prize. Liu's wife, Liu Xia, expressed gratitude on behalf of her husband to the Nobel Committee, Liu's proposers, and those who have been supporting him since 1989, including the Tiananmen Mothers—family members or representatives of those who were killed, or had disappeared, in the military crackdown of the protests of 4 June 1989. She said, "The prize should belong to all who signed Charter 08 and were jailed due to their support".

Liu Xia informed the laureate of his award during a visit to Jinzhou Prison on 9 October 2010, one day after the official announcement. She reported that Liu wept and dedicated the award to those who suffered as a result of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, saying: "The award is first and foremost for the Tiananmen martyrs" After Ms. Liu returned home, she was put under house arrest and was watched by armed guards. She expressed the desire to attend the awards ceremony in Norway in December, but was skeptical of her chances of being allowed to do so. Liu Xia wrote an open letter to 143 prominent figures, encouraging them to attend the award ceremony in Oslo.

China reacted negatively to the award, immediately censoring news about the announcement of the award in China, though later that day limited news of the award became available. Foreign news broadcasters including CNN and the BBC were immediately blocked, while heavy censorship was applied to personal communications. The Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced the award to Liu Xiaobo, saying that it "runs completely counter to the principle of the award and it is also a desecration of the Peace Prize". The Norwegian ambassador to the People's Republic of China was summoned by the Foreign Ministry on 8 October 2010 and presented with an official complaint about the granting of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu. The Chinese government has called Liu Xiaobo a criminal and stated that he does not deserve the prize. Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng, in his response to news of the award, criticized Liu by calling him "the accomplice of the Communist regime." As a result, nearly all large-scale commercial trades are limited, and their relation soured until after Liu Xiaobo's death in 2017, when talks begin. In October 2018, the Norwegian King Harald V visited Beijing and met with Chinese president Xi Jinping, symbolizing the recovery of China-Norway relations.


In 2011, a WorldWideReading was dedicated to Liu Xiaobo; on 20 March, readings in more than 60 towns and cities on all continents and broadcast via radio stations were held in his honor. The "Freedom for Liu Xiaobo" appeal was supported by more than 700 writers from around the world, among them Nobel Prize laureates John M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Herta Müller and Elfriede Jelinek, as well as Breyten Breytenbach, Eliot Weinberger, Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Mario Vargas Llosa, Wolf Biermann and Dave Eggers.

On 20 March 2011, the international literature festival called for a worldwide reading for Liu Xiaobo. More than 700 authors from all continents signed the appeal and over 150 institutions took part in the event.


On 19 November 2013, his wife, Liu Xia, who was placed under house arrest shortly after Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, filed an appeal for Liu Xiaobo's retrial. This move has been called "extraordinary" because the action could refocus the world's attention on China's human rights record. According to her attorney, Mo Shaoping, Liu Xia visited her husband in Jinzhou Prison in Liaoning and gained his approval before filing this motion.


On 26 June 2017, it was reported that Liu had been granted medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in late May 2017. The Shenyang Justice Ministry released a statement on 5 July saying that the First Hospital of China Medical University, where Liu was being treated, has invited cancer experts from the United States, Germany and other nations to join its team of doctors. However, the statement did not mention which foreign doctors had been invited or whether or not any of them had responded. A statement one day later from the hospital said that Liu was admitted on 7 June. On 8 July, the hospital said that Joseph M. Herman of University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Markus Büchler of Heidelberg University had joined domestic experts for group consultation. The foreign doctors said that Liu had indicated that he wanted to be sent abroad for treatment. Acknowledging the risk that is involved when a patient is moved, they deemed that Liu was fit to travel abroad in order to receive the care which they were willing to provide him. However, the hospital said that the foreign doctors had confirmed that even they had no better treatment methods and also that the domestic doctors had done a very good job. On 10 July, the hospital said that Liu was in critical condition, and that he was suffering from an increasingly bloated stomach, an inflamed abdominal wall, falling blood pressure, faltering kidneys, growing cancer lesions, and that they were actively rescuing him, and were starting to use continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). On 12 July, the hospital said that Liu was suffering from liver failure (Child–Pugh class C), kidney failure, respiratory failure, septic shock, blood clot, etc. and that they had communicated the necessity for tracheal intubation, but his family had rejected the procedure. The New York Times reported that Liu's family could not be independently reached for confirmation of his condition.

Liu Xiaobo died on 13 July 2017 in Shenyang's First Hospital of China Medical University from liver cancer.

Tibetan Government in Exile: The 14th Dalai Lama, who himself is the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, and Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, Lobsang Sangay mourned the death of Liu. The Dalai Lama issued the following short statement on 14 July 2017, "I am deeply saddened to learn that fellow Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo has passed away while undergoing a lengthy prison sentence. I offer my prayers and condolences to his wife, Liu Xia and to other members of his family. Although he is no longer living, the rest of us can best pay honor to Liu Xiaobo by carrying forward the principles he has long embodied, which would lead to a more harmonious, stable and prosperous China. It is my belief that Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo's unceasing efforts in the cause of freedom will bear fruit before long."

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Liu Xiaobo is 67 years, 5 months and 12 days old. Liu Xiaobo will celebrate 68th birthday on a Thursday 28th of December 2023.

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