You'll find propaganda anywhere though. Best to look at multiple sources. Even the once you don't like. (Now I have no moral high-ground here, don't get me wrong. As I said, this is like the first non-fiction book that's not for school that I ever read.) Give it a read sometime, before you judge it or it's author. I'm not saying it will change your life or your point of view. But it can't hurt, now can it?
(Important sidenote is that he's not mainly writing about China under Mao. But China today. Though a comprehension of the historical background is always necessary in understanding something like this.)
And what's wrong with Dutch, by the way? (I sure as shit ain't gonna learn Chinese.) :p
In any case though, eleven years in the big house for writing a manifesto calling for social security, freedom of assembly, protection of the environment and other things seems a bit much.
There is propaganda--the distortion of fact, or lies--and there is fact, I am interested in the latter. Thats why I go to prime sources, Marx, Lenin, Mao, Guevara, etc.
I don't claim to know much about China post-Mao. The State still controls most of the advanced industry and resources, I presume, and then you have private capitalism that has come in and most of the working class is back to being very low wage slaves.
Doing a quick Wiki search re Liu, he comes from a petit bourgeois intellectual family and he is the same. While he was studying and teaching in the US, did he take up the issues of human rights there? No. Prison system with the most prisoners on the planet? No. Critique of the totalitarian nature of corporate capitalism? No. Is he agitating for socialism in China? No. So, from this, I gather he is a petit bourgeois capitalist of dem-soc leanings. If the Chinese State is still mostly so-comm, thats why they put him in the clank. One wonders who his potential "handlers" are as well. I am anti-capitalist, rev socialist--I probably wont read him.
If you would like to grace us with a presentation on Xiaobo Liu's critique of contemporary China here, feel free to do so. ;)
Really, "The Communist Manifesto", IMO, is the most profound and inspiring book on the planet, so all these "human rights" type liberal capitalist writers pale by comparison.