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Nobel laureate discounts progress of human rights, freedom in China

2012/06/04 20:48:17

Taipei, June 4 (CNA) Exiled Chinese-born Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian said Monday on the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing that China does not seem to be heading along the path of freedom of thought and speech, despite improvements in personal freedom.

The winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Literature, who is visiting Taiwan to take up a two-week post as a chair professor at National Taiwan Normal University, said that human rights cannot be acquired in a day and that people have to fight for them. He pointed out that this was also a long journey in Western societies.

Under Mao Zedong's rule, the Chinese people did not enjoy any freedom, but the situation has improved during the intervening years, Gao said during a meeting with National Taiwan Normal University President Chang Guo-en and various university executives.

Freedom is something that can neither be granted nor purchased, he went on.

There have been hopes voiced recently that there can be an end to the stigma of the Tiananmen massacre, but in response, Gao, who is now a French citizen, said it is the responsibility of the Chinese government to wrap up the issue, and in his opinion, the sooner the better.

"Good creations can only be carried out based on absolute freedom," Chang mentioned Gao has having told him when they met in Paris.

Meanwhile, the 72-year-old novelist also attributed Taiwan's success to education because, he said, the level and popularization of education in Taiwan are first-class.

He stressed the importance of education, noting that the foundations of social civilization lie in economy, democracy, humanistic ethos and education, which he said are inseparable from one another.

Gao was also scheduled to give a lecture the following day as part of a series of events to celebrate the university's 66th founding anniversary.

(By Hsu Chih-wei and Nell Shen)