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Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Thursday, 27 March 2008

HardTalk in China: Liao Yiwu

Stephen Sackur and Liao Yiwu
Stephen Sackur and Liao Yiwu

In a HardTalk interview first broadcast on Thursday 27th March, Stephen Sackur talks to the most censored writer in China, Liao Yiwu.

China is undergoing a period of rapid and profound change, but not everyone stands to gain.

Dissident writer Liao Yiwu seeks to give a voice to the people he calls "the lowest rungs of Chinese society".

He spent four years in jail after writing an epic poem about the Tiananmen Square massacre and his book "The Corpse Walker" is a series of interviews with China's underclass: human traffickers, professional mourners, lepers, migrant labourers.

Even this subject matter is controversial and Liao's every move is shadowed by the authorities.

In a rare interview, Liao talks to Stephen Sackur about his extraordinary life and how he is recording the "voices of the voiceless".

HARDtalk is broadcast on BBC World at 03:30 GMT, 08:30 GMT, 14:30 GMT, 18:30 GMT and 21:30 GMT.

Hardtalk can also be seen on BBC News 24 at 04:30 & 23:30.

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Stephen Sackur talks to the writer and musician,about his time in prison and his work depicting China’s underclass.

Stephen Sackur asks Liao Yiwu about his feelings towards his country.

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