With harsh sentence of Liu Xiaobo, China threatens democracy and human rights activists and signals to the West that its concerns don’t matter much

by Andrew Jacobs

BEIJING — The harsh sentence handed down on Friday to Liu Xiaobo, one of China’s most prominent campaigners for democracy and human rights, prompted strong rebukes in the United States and Europe, but it also raised fresh questions over whether the West has much leverage over a government that is increasingly self-assured on the world stage.