Beijing should allow Nobel laureate treatment abroad, says US envoy

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo should be allowed to obtain treatment outside China after he was diagnosed with cancer while in prison for advocating democratic reforms, says Terry Branstad, the new US ambassador to Beijing.

“It’s important that we work together between our two countries to address these human rights issues,” Branstad said.

Talking to the media at his first public appearance since arriving in Beijing this week , “China should allow 61-year-old Liu to seek treatment elsewhere if it would be of help.”

Branstad said, “It’s important that we work together between our two countries to address these human rights issues.”

After being diagnosed with last stage cancer on May 23, Liu was given a medical parole. In a video circulated by supporters, his wife has said that Liu’s cancer has advanced beyond any potential treatment.

While serving an 11-year prison term for co- authoring Charter ’08, a policy calling for an end to single-party rule in China, Liu Xiaobo received the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

The news of the writer and literary critic Liu’s illness illustrated questions from his supporters and human rights advocates on whether China’s government provided him with ample care while incarcerated.

The State Department has called for the release of Liu and his wife on Monday. Liu’s wife Liu Xia has been living under house arrest for years.

A statement given by the State Department said, “China should provide them the protections and freedoms such as freedom of movement and access to medical care of his choosing, to which they’re entitled under China’s constitution and medical system and international commitments.”

The State Department also demoted China to its lowest ranking on human trafficking, after the Trump administration had previously avoided public criticism of Beijing on human rights.

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