Date
24 September 2017
A protester holds up a picture of dissident Liu Xiaobo in front of the Chinese embassy in Oslo. Beijing describes the US proposal as "meaningless sensationalism" and "a farce". Photo: Reuters
A protester holds up a picture of dissident Liu Xiaobo in front of the Chinese embassy in Oslo. Beijing describes the US proposal as "meaningless sensationalism" and "a farce". Photo: Reuters

Plan to rename US embassy street after Liu Xiaobo slammed

Global Times has assailed a proposal in the US Congress to rename a road in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., after the imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, calling it a farce that will hurt Sino-US relations.

Frank Wolf, a Republican congressman from Virginia, submitted the amendment to the annual State Department spending bill, instructing Secretary of State John Kerry to rename the street “No. 1, Liu Xiaobo Plaza”, according to the Washington Post.

Chinese authorities said the move is an obvious attempt to provoke China and is not within the normal diplomatic protocols. Beijing has reportedly filed a formal protest with the US.

In its editorial, Global Times, a newspaper under the Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, said a mere name change cannot hurt China much, noting that it is at most like swallowing a fly that would make one feel disgusted.

The newspaper also said it expects to see more anti-China actions coming from the US as China marches toward becoming a superpower that will threaten US leadership status in the world.

It said China does not have to react further on the farce, and should wait for the US Congress to act on the matter.

“Some people from the United States have used so-called human rights and the Liu Xiaobo case to engage in this meaningless sensationalism,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was quoted as saying.

“It is nothing more than an attempt to smear China. We think this is purely a farce.”

Liu Xiaobo, a writer and human rights activist, was jailed for his involvement in the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests. In 2009, he was slapped an 11-year jail term for subversion after spearheading a bold petition for democratic reforms called Charter 08.

Beijing voiced outrage when he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. China has censored any mention of the Nobel after Liu won, and put his wife under house arrest.

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