"Many people have been shushed online. And many people have been sent to prison for one article. Isn’t it hypocritical for the party to say it wants to hear sharp criticism after it has already tightened speech?"
"We almost never judge British and American writers on their politics alone. It would seem absurd to us if the Somali, Yemeni or Pakistani victims of Barack Obama’s drone assaults, miraculously empowered with a voice in the international arena, accused the US president’s many literary fans of trying to put a human face on his unmanned killing machines; or if they denounced Ian McEwan, who once had tea with Laura Bush and Cherie Blair at 10 Downing Street, as a patsy for the Anglo-American nexus that is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions more. Nevertheless, they would not be wrong to detect an unexamined assumption lurking in the western scorn for Mo Yan’s proximity to the Chinese regime: that Anglo-American writers, naturally possessed of loftier virtue, stand along with their governments on the right side of history."