China to permit Gao Yaojie to travel to accept AIDS award

And apparently the efforts of Hillary Clinton helped. (The article is behind a firewall, so I can only see the headline and lead). Let’s hope it’s true.

Chinese officials signaled Friday they will allow a prominent AIDS activist who had been confined to her home to visit the U.S. next month, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said.

Gao Yaojie, 80 years old, was confined to her home, worrying fellow activists who said the measure was aimed at keeping her from making the trip to the U.S. to accept an award from a non-profit group.

Ms. Clinton had pressed Chinese officials to let Ms. Gao travel to accept the reward …

Presuming it is accurate, I can’t offer any particularly warm words to the government or praise their enlightenment. After all, she never should have been placed under house arrest. It’s not like they’re performing some kind of good deed now, but merely undoing the stupid and flagrantly wrong deed they performed earlier. Well, at least that’s a positive, or a non-negative, so I’ll toss them a few crumbs. But why they insist on making themselves look like paranoid thugs in the eyes of the world is an utter mystery to me. Just let the old lady get her award; why force the world to see you as schmucks?

The Discussion: 7 Comments

The Beijing government cannot tolerate activitists of all kind, from the age of 10 to 120, period. Actually, stories like this get next to no coverage from the media in HK, and I don’t even know about this until I read your blog.

February 17, 2007 @ 8:51 pm | Comment

The Chinese are kings of the backpeddle and retracted statement.

I always wonder why they don’t just simply think about things first before they do their asinine acts? Would save a lot of effort in putting out fires…

Oh well, it wouldn’t be fun if they didn’t I guess.

February 18, 2007 @ 1:00 pm | Comment

This is great news. Now let’s see if they actually let her go next month. The Chinese government may be betting (not against the odds) that the memory of the American media is short and Dr. Gao’s plight gets swallowed up by all things Anna Nicole.

February 18, 2007 @ 5:49 pm | Comment

Things go down like this because the central government doesn’t have local governments under control. Local governments think they can do anything they want and they have zero PR ability.

February 18, 2007 @ 10:21 pm | Comment

Good point, Jerome.

February 19, 2007 @ 9:30 am | Comment

gung hay fat choi, richard!

February 19, 2007 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

I wonder with advancement of communication and infomation technology. Large country like China could eventually be managable through a single central power. Maybe I am just dreaming.

February 20, 2007 @ 2:52 am | Comment

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