採訪/朱智善 編輯/李謙 後製/鍾元
Mo Yan Unwilling to Comment on Freedom of Speech
Chinese writer Mo Yan and winner of the Nobel Prize
for Literature is in Sweden to attend the award ceremony.
During his trip he met with academic community
at Stockholm University on December 9.
Mo was asked about freedom of speech in China, and again
defended Chinese Communist Party’ (CCP) regime.
He said, CCP’s censorship is normal,
just like security checks at the airport.
This statement was not received well by the audience,
and was viewed as a laughing stock by experts and scholars.
On December 9, Chinese writer Mo Yan read his work
at the Magnéli Hall of Stockholm University, and answered questions from the audience.
Mo Yan was once again asked “sensitive questions,”
such as about the freedom of speech in China.
Vice chairman of Chinese Writers Association, Mo Yan has
been trying to avoid such questions during his trip in Sweden.
Sometimes he would even tell stories,
just to divert the question.
This time Mo Yan said he doesn’t want to answer political
questions, as he is the winner of literature, not politics.
And that politicians are the ones
who should answer political questions.
Zhu Jianguo, independent writer: “What he said
seems to be stories, not politics.
But he is following China’s political request,
which is not to publicly criticize China’s weaknesses.”
Zhu Jianguo pointed out that in order to not offend
the CCP, Mo Yan chose to “tell lies.”
Zhu Jianguo: “Take what he says on not talking
about politics, but only talking about literature.
Traditional Chinese literature is about statesmanship,
and must be close to politics and reality.
A writer with conscience must connect closely
with politics and reality.”
Zhu Jianguo said that in fact Mo Yan has certain criticism
and irony on politics and reality in his work.
But speaking publicly, in order to avoid his weakness,
he had to lie according to the CCP’s directions.
During this meeting, Mo Yan was not able to avoid
commenting on freedom of speech in China.
He repeated his statement
from the press conference on December 6.
He claimed, censorship of press exists in China,
the same way as in the Western world. It is everywhere.
Censorship of speech is like security checking
at the airport, Mo added.
And gave an example that when he went to apply for a visa
to a Western country, his application was checked too.
U.S. China expert Perry Link said during his interview with
Deutsche Welle that Mo Yan was trying to play language games to flatter the CCP and the market.
Mo Yan has given in much to the CCP dictatorship,
like participating in copying Mao Zedong’s statements.
What is most ridiculous is Mo Yan’s comparison
of censorship of speech to airport security checking.
Perry Link also does not think Mo Yan is a great writer
from the literature point of view.
Zhu Jianguo: “Letting him receive
the Nobel Price is dramatic.
There might be a variety of reasons,
like the Nobel committee needing to give in to the CCP.”
Zhu Jianguo analyzed, Mo Yan is not the best writer
in China. Awarding him is a political move.
The Nobel committee might hope to get CCP’s acceptance
of the price by awarding a CCP’ Writers Association official, and satire CCP’s past denial of Nobel Prize winners.
Jiangsu Province Internet writer Gu Zhijian told NTD
that Mo Yan’s behavior is disappointing, and proves the bad situation with the human rights in China.
Gu Zhijian: “What Mo Yan said actually reflects
the serious suppression of freedom of speech in China.”
Gu Zhijian said that Mo Yan’s award might make
more Chinese writers copy him and be opportunists:
to try their best not to offend the CCP authorities;
and to get support from the outside world.
Gu Zhijian emphasized that such writers have no sense
of social responsibility.
Although they know clearly CCP is the source of hardships
of the Chinese society, they only write about the hardships, and are not willing to disclose the source of the problems.
This only makes people become even more blind-folded,
and prolongs the hardships.