His Excellency Hu Jintao        President of the People's Republic of China        Zhongnanhai, Xichengqu,        Beijing        People’s Republic of China        OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA        January 15, 2010        Your Excellency,        The European Association for Chinese Studies represents more than800 scholars from 36 countries, mostly in Europe, who dedicate theirefforts to the understanding and promotion of China, its ancientculture, as well as its recent spectacular transformation and rise onthe global scene. As sinologists we are particularly happy about thecontacts we have established with scholars and scholarly institutionsin China since the beginning of the policy of reform and opening up.Cooperation and academic exchange between specialists in Europe andChina brings out new results in our work and also helps the promotionof Chinese culture in Europe in general.        Given all these positive developments in China in recent years, weare disappointed and saddened by the trial of Liu Xiaobo, who onDecember 25, 2009 was sentenced by No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court inBeijing to 11 years in prison on charges of “agitation activities aimedat subversion of the government”. Dr. Liu Xiaobo, former Beijing NormalUniversity lecturer, is a well-known scholar in the field of Chineseliterature and philosophy, and a renowned writer. His main “crime” wasthe active part he took in drafting and disseminating Charter 08, adocument made public more than one year ago, in December 2008.        After careful scrutiny of the full text of Charter 08, we areconvinced this document does not call for subversion, but for adiscussion about political and social reforms indispensable forharmonization between the dazzling economic growth and modernization inChina and those features in the administration and legal system whichcreate unhealthy developments in Chinese society. If the problems andsuggestions for their solution as they are outlined in Charter 08 arecriminalized instead of discussed, they could in a long run impede thehealthy development of the country.        In our view, Charter 08 aims at continuing the policies of reformand opening up, policies of modernization and improvement of life forall Chinese people, and as such it deserves to be studied and discussedin the spirit of “seeking truth from facts”. One of the things Charter08 says is “we should end the practice of viewing words as crimes”.This reminds us of the ancient Chinese wisdom recorded from earliersources by the great historian and humanist Sima Qian: “To blockpeople’s mouth is worse than blocking a river”.        We urge you, your Excellency, to reconsider the official positionof the highest leadership of the People’s Republic of China in thismatter, and to use all your authority to ensure that Liu Xiaobo’s casewill be reconsidered and he will be released. We rely on your genuineconcern for the future glory of your country and the Chinese people,and strongly believe that our plea will not fall upon a deaf ear.        Brunhild Staiger (President,EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION FOR CHINESE STUDIES)


In Chinese


 中华人民共和国        北京市西城区中南海        中华人民共和国主席        胡锦涛阁下        致中华人民共和国主席的公开信        2010年1月15日        尊敬的胡锦涛先生,        欧洲汉学学会由来自36个国家(主要是欧洲国家)的800多名学者组成,致力于了解和提升中国:古代文化,近期剧变,以及中国在全球舞台上的兴起。作为汉学家,我们尤其对与中国学者和学术机构改革开放以来的接触感到高兴。欧洲专家和中国同行之间的合作和学术交流为我们的研究带来了新的成果,同时也有助于在欧洲推广中国文化。        鉴于近年来中国在以上方面的正面发展,我们对2009年12月25日北京市第一中级人民法院以“煽动颠覆国家政权罪”判处刘晓波11年有期徒刑,深感失望和悲哀。刘晓波博士曾任北京师范大学中文系讲师,是中国文学和哲学领域的著名学者,在中文写作方面享有盛名。他的主要“罪行”是积极参与起草和传播《零八宪章》。该文件于2008年12月公诸于世。        细读《零八宪章》全文之后,我们确信,这份文件并没有倡导颠覆,而是讨论了对促成中国经济增长和现代化之间的和谐所必不可少的政治和社会改革,以及行政和法律制度中那些导致中国社会病态发展的因素。如果对《零八宪章》所提出的问题和解决方案,不去讨论,反而治罪,那么长远而言,这将妨碍国家的健康发展。        在我们看来,《零八宪章》旨在继续推动改革开放、倡导现代化、改善全体中国人民的生活,因此值得以“实事求是”的精神研究讨论。《零八宪章》提出“应该结束以言治罪”。这让人想起中国的古训,伟大的历史学家和人文学家司马迁司纪录如下:防民之口,甚于防水。        我们敦促阁下,再次斟酌您作为中国人民共和国最高领导人在这一问题上的立场,并利用您的权威,务必重新考虑刘晓波案件,释放刘晓波。我们相信您对中国和中国人民未来的辉煌充满诚意,因此坚信,对于我们的呼吁,您不会充耳不闻。        布伦希尔德·斯泰格尔(欧洲汉学学会主席)



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