Renowned Chinese poet and author, Liao Yiwu, was denied a visa to Australia from the Chinese Government where he was invited to be a part of the Sydney Writer’s Festival.
After being denied what was essentially an exit Visa, Liao expressed his disappointment by saying that the most formidable challenge before the Chinese was the pangs of system that is ruthlessly authoritarian in nature. The refusal from the communist country’s Government comes in the wake of a fierce crackdown by the party on dissent. Liao is a known critic of the Chinese Government as he writes about the poverty plaguing the nation in his works quite often.
Due to speak in the Festival about his 2008 book title Corpse Walker, which consisted of 27 interviews with various people who grew up seeing the poverty stricter side of China, Liao has recently put pen to paper on a publishing deal with HarperCollins. The deal is for his next work, a book titled, “God is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourishes in Communist China.”
Liao has thus been denied exit visa on17 different occasions now. It was only in 1999 that the German government through its persistence had a visa issued for Liao from the Chinese Government. Though Liao said it would be unfair to hope for the same from the Australian government, he also said that he will pray the two governments do talk about it when they meet for talks on business proposals in the near future.