Date
25 May 2017
China says a US plan to rename a plaza outside its Washington embassy after jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo is a breach of basic norms of international relations. Photo: Al Jazeera America
China says a US plan to rename a plaza outside its Washington embassy after jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo is a breach of basic norms of international relations. Photo: Al Jazeera America

China warns US on move to rename plaza after jailed dissident

China is warning the United States of “serious consequences” if a plaza in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington is named after jailed Nobel laureate and pro-democracy dissident Liu Xiaobo.

A move by the US Senate to make the change “violated the basic norms of international relations”, Voice of America News reports, citing Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei.

The Senate last week passed a measure to name the plaza after Liu, which would potentially change the Washington embassy’s address to 1 Liu Xiaobo Plaza.

China views Liu as a criminal.

He was jailed for 11 years in 2009 on subversion charges for organizing a petition urging an end to one-party rule.

His Nobel award the following year outraged Beijing.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a leading contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

A White House spokesman has said President Barack Obama’s senior advisers will recommend that the bill be vetoed and say it is not an effective way to secure Liu’s release.

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