Gao Yaojie’s Difficulty in Getting to the U.S. to Claim Her Award is a Cause for Concern
According to news reports, Gao Yaojie, the retired doctor who will turn 80 this year, has won the Vital Voices Global Women’s Leadership Award for her great efforts in defending those infected with AIDS in China. But Gao Yaojie’s has constantly faced resistance in going to America to claim her award. Over the last more than a month, a number of local officials have visited her home [in Henan province] to dissuade her from going the America to receive her award, and have even accused her of « manufacturing malicious rumors, telling lies and making up stories ».
The actions of these officials cause us to doubt whether Gao Yaojie is living in a free country, and this can’t help but make us uneasy about the actual situation of the AIDS epidemic in various regions of China. Concerning the AIDS epidemic, who exactly is telling the truth, and who is telling lies? Gao Yaojie has been on the front lines investigating and taking action to fight AIDS all along … It should be said that she has more authority than anyone concerning the current state of AIDS in China, or at the very least the most authority to speak to the AIDS situation in Henan and other areas. For this reason, I deeply believe that anything Gao Yaojie says concerning AIDS is earnest and true. Just as she has said herself, « At any time, in any place, under whatever pressure, I will never tell lies. I cannot cheat the people of the world ».