The real prisoners

What Trump should have been asking Xi about instead of three American basketball players who were going to be sent home anyway:

After the death in July of Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was China’s most prominent democracy activist, many advocates wondered what would happen to his wife, the artist Liu Xia.

Ms. Liu, a painter and photographer, expressed a desire to relocate overseas after her husband’s death, but activists say that she is being held in unofficial custody away from family and friends.

William Nee, a China researcher for Amnesty International, said Ms. Liu was being punished “simply for being the wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.”

Friends of Ms. Liu hoped Mr. Trump, whose administration had previously called for her freedom, would raise the issue with Mr. Xi during his Beijing visit. But Mr. Trump has not said whether he did so, and the Chinese authorities have not offered any new details about her fate, adding to fears that the government may continue to restrict her freedom.

Is it at all likely that he did? Would he have been able to keep the facts about her in his head long enough? Would he have cared? I think the chances are zero.

Ilham Tohti had long called on the Chinese authorities to show greater respect for the culture of Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority who live primarily in Xinjiang, a western autonomous region. Mr. Tohti, an economics professor, documented abuses by the police in Xinjiang and urged the government to do more to defuse tensions between Uighurs and Han Chinese, the dominant ethnic group.

In 2014, Mr. Tohti was arrested and later convicted of promoting separatism. The government portrayed him as a demagogue who embraced hatred and violence. He was sentenced to life in prison, and the authorities have rebuffed calls to lessen his punishment.

We know Trump wouldn’t go for that. Uighurs are mostly Mooslims – oh no no no no no.

As a lawyer, Wang Quanzhang gravitated toward controversy, taking on cases that involved religious worshipers accusing the government of persecution and activists protesting forced demolitions of houses.

But in the summer of 2015, Mr. Wang’s career came to an abrupt end when he was detained by the police as part of a crackdown on hundreds of human rights lawyers across China. He was later accused of subverting state power and inciting social unrest.

Also not Trump’s kind of thing. He sides with power, not with human rights activists.

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