US Embassy Uses Twitter to Express Solidarity with Chinese Netizens

A law court in Beijing has rejected an appeal this morning (11 February 2010) against the jail sentence handed down to prominent dissident Liu Xiaobo.  Minutes after an announcement was made, Twitter was inundated with comments from Chinese netizens who condemned the court’s decision. Less than 30 minutes later, the US Embassy joined Chinese netizens to start posting tweets in Chinese to express its view on Liu’s jail sentence.

The US Embassy’s Twitter account was set up in November last year by the US Consulate General in Guangzhou to promote the visit of President Barrack Obama to China. It had been used specifically to broadcast President Obama’s meeting with student representatives in Shanghai. Since then, the Consulate has been posting tweets in Chinese on a regular basis to explain the US government’s position on various issues.

These are tweets about Liu Xiaobo that the US Embassy has posted this morning:

我们对中国政府以“煽动颠覆国家政权”的罪名维持对刘晓波11年的监禁的决定感到失望。我们认为他原本不应该被判刑,并应被立即释放。

We are disappointed by the Chinese Government’s decision to uphold Liu Xiaobo’s sentence of 11 years in prison on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power.”  We believe that he should not have been sentenced in the first place and should be released immediately.

自刘先生一年多前被拘禁以来,我们曾多次在高层提出我们对其被拘留的关切,无论是在北京还是华盛顿。刘先生一直和平地为在中国建立政治开放与问责制而工作。对和平表达政治观点的人进行迫害不符合国际公认的人权准则。

We have raised our concerns about Mr. Liu’s detention repeatedly and at high levels, both in Beijing and in Washington, since he was taken into custody over a year ago.  Mr. Liu has peacefully worked for the establishment of political openness and accountability in China.  Persecution of individuals for the peaceful expression of political views is inconsistent with internationally-recognized norms of human rights.

我们继续呼吁中国政府立即释放他,并尊重所有公民和平表达他们政治观点和行使国际公认自由的权利。

We continue to call on the Government of China to release him immediately and to respect the right of all citizens to peacefully express their political views and exercise internationally-recognized freedoms.

This is the link to the official statement issued by Jon M. Huntsman, US Ambassador to China.

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