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China’s Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo passes away

China’s most famous political prisoner, the Nobel laureate and democracy icon Liu Xiaobo passed away in custody following a battle with cancer. He was 61.

Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.

About Liu Xiaobo

Liu was a Chinese literary critic, writer, human rights activist who called for political reforms and end of communist single-party rule. He is also known for his role in 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing.

Liu was arrested in 2008 after co-writing Charter 08, a bold petition that called for the protection of basic human rights and reform of China’s political system. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison in December 2009 on the charges of subversion.

During his fourth prison term, he was awarded 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. He was first Chinese citizen to be awarded a Nobel Prize of any kind while residing in China. At the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony held in Oslo in 2010 he was represented by an empty chair.

Note: Liu is the third person to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while in prison or detention, after Germany’s Carl von Ossietzky (1935) and Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi (1991). He was also the second Nobel Peace laureate died in custody (first being Ossietzky who died in a Nazi concentration camp).


Carrie Lam sworn in as first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong

Carrie Lam was sworn in as the first female Chief Executive (CE) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), an autonomous territory of China on the Pearl River Delta.

The CE of Hong Kong is the head and representative of the Hong Kong and also head of the Government of Hong Kong.

Carrie Lam took her oath to office before Chines President Xi Jinping on the occasion marking 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China from Britain. She is fifth CE of Hong Kong since it became part of China in 1997.

Prior to getting electing as CE, she was the Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong SAR Government (from 2012 to 2017), the senior most rank of principal officials of Hong Kong.

About Hong Kong

Hong Kong was part of China back in early 18th Century. Later it was ceded to Britain after China’s Qing dynasty government was defeated in the First Opium War in 1842. Later in 1898, Kowloon island other 235 Outlying Islands surrounding Hong Kong Island were leased to Britain for 99 years period. After end of 99 year lease Britain handed Hong Kong to People’s Republic of China on 1st July 1997 under the principle condition of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. This arrangement allows Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system and enjoys high degree of autonomy, including retaining its capitalist system, independent judiciary and rule of law, free trade and freedom of speech. At present, Hong Kong is a service-based economy and serves as important gateway to the world’s largest market.