Ai Weiwei has devoted his life and art to the issues of freedom of speech, democracy and human rights in China. What significance do these issues have in China today, both historically and for the future? Although free speech is limited, the boundaries are extended by internet access, micro-blogs and lively internet debates between citizens about the Chinese leaders. Are these forces that Chinese authorities will struggle to contain? How should we in the West relate to a country that denies human rights while also providing a large part of our manufacturing industry? The panel will also discuss the relationship between the dissidents in China and those that live abroad.
Börje Ljunggren, Swedish diplomat and expert on Asia, the former ambassador in China.
Andrew J. Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, New York, teaching and research on Chinese politics and human rights.
Malin Oud, sinologist with a focus on human rights and sustainable development.
Moderator: Dominic Ziegler, London-based Asia editor of The Economist and the magazine’s former China correspondent.
The conversation took place at ABF, Zetasalen, in Stockholm, March 27, 2012.