"The most important reason I am doing this is because I participated in the 1989 movement," he said. " There were so many young and innocent lives sacrificed at that time under the guns and tanks of the Communist Party. These victims cannot be given their due recognition at present. But as long as I am alive I will continue to fight for justice. As a survivor of that movement, I believe I have a moral responsibility to clear their names."
When "Charter 08" was issued, thousands of Chinese signed the document and the Communist Party considered it a challenge to its rule. "The democratization of Chinese politics can no longer be put off," the manifesto said. It echoed Charter 77, the famous call for human rights in Czechoslovakia that led to the collapse of communist rule in 1989.
During the interview with ABC News, Liu said that international pressure can help to persuade Chinese leaders. "International pressure plays a role but it's not realistic to expect a change in China's human rights situation immediately. Aside from international pressure, much will depend on the efforts of generations of Chinese."
When asked when he expects China to be a democracy in his lifetime, Liu responded, "I don't think about this in those terms. I have chosen this path because I believe it is the right thing to do. I know there will be some sacrifices involved but one must be prepared to pay a price for whatever one chooses to do. "
The Associated Press contributed to this report