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To Obama - Why China Does Not Have a Nelson Mandela
By Yaxue Cao, published: September 23, 2015

On March 31, when China’s youngest political criminal Huang Wenxun (黄文勋) heard that Xi Jinping was going to visit America, he wrote President Obama a letter. He had just turned 25, and had been held in a police lockup awaiting trial in Chibi, Hubei Province, for one year and ten months (as of this writing, it’s over two years and four months). In his letter, he told his own story and also tried to get Americans to “learn about a different China.” He seemed to truly believe his letter would make it in front of President Obama, and apologized for occupying the president’s precious time. But he reasoned: this could be counted as “a time for international moral responsibility,” and so wasn’t a waste.

The letter has been on my mind for months, because it’s my job to bring the voice of Huang Wenxun and those like him to the world. But his letter was too long,

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