Li and Chu also attended the Nobel Peace Prize Banquet, as well as the Nobel Peace Prize Concert hosted by Denzel Washington and Anne Hathaway on Dec. 11, 2010.
"I got to thank Denzel Washington for hosting this year's Nobel Peace Prize Concert," Li said. "I also had the honor to meet the Norwegian Queen and shake hands with her. It was all very exciting."
Liu was not present at the ceremony, as he is serving an 11-year sentence for "inciting subversion to state power" through his writings and role in Charter 08, a manifesto advocating human rights, freedom of expression and peaceful transformation to democratic society.
Li and Chu started working with Liu in 2001 when they and a group of Chinese writers formed the Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC), an affiliate of the International PEN. Liu and Chu were elected president and vice-president of ICPC in 2003 and worked together to advocate freedom of information, freedom of speech and human rights in China.
In 2006, Liu and Chu formed Democratic China, Inc., a non-profit organization supported by the National Endowment for Democracy. The organization publishes a Chinese language journal, Democratic China Electronic Journal, that provides a platform for discussing and debating on China’s peaceful transformation to democracy. The journal’s principles are democracy, freedom, human rights, rule of law and constitutionalism.
As a volunteer for the organizations, Li said she helped with English translation and some administrative roles, such as application for non-profit organization status. Li served as the organization’s president and the journal’s editor-in-chief until he was arrested in December 2008.
"China has achieved great economic success in the recent decades and has lifted several hundred million Chinese out of poverty," Li said. "However, Liu and his wife Liu Xia’s absence at the ceremony shows that China’s rapid economic development has not necessarily achieved democratic transformation as many believed."
"Liu is the first Chinese living in China that won a Nobel Prize," Li said. "It really was a historical event."
Li (left) thanks Representative Christopher Smith (NJ) for sponsoring House Resolution 1717 - Congratulating imprisoned Chinese democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo on the award of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.
Li (left) and friend at the Nobel Peace Prize Banquet