Ai Weiwei says Liu Xiaobo's case China's 'shame'

Ai Weiwei says Liu Xiaobo's case China's 'shame'

The 61-year-old Nobel Peace Prize victor has been released from prison and is being treated for late-stage liver cancer at a university hospital in northeastern Liaoning province.

A few days after the meeting, however, the authorities said they had approved the family's request to invite Western doctors to join Liu's medical team, composed of prominent Chinese oncologists, at a hospital in Shenyang in northeastern China.

Mr. Liu risks becoming the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who passed away in a hospital while held by the Nazis in 1938.

In late June the dissident was transferred from prison to a hospital because of advanced liver cancer.

Ms Nauert added that Washington is anxious not only about the welfare of Mr Liu, 61, but of other dissidents held by China.

Liu's plight poses an early challenge for Branstad amid signs that the honeymoon between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping is fading.

Ai told The Associated Press in Germany on Wednesday that he has been friends with Liu since the 1980s.

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Expert doctors from the United States and Germany visited Liu on Sunday and released a statement saying he had expressed his wish to get treatment overseas and that he could be moved abroad safely, though the move must happen quickly.

China has previously told diplomats that Liu can not travel because he is too ill to be moved.

"The economy is strong, the military is rising — does China still care about global political opinion?" said Zhang Lifan, a liberal political commentator in Beijing.

"We hope relevant countries can respect China's judicial sovereignty and not use such individual case to interfere in China's domestic affairs", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a briefing Wednesday. He was sentenced to 11 years' jail on subversion charges but was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

After Wednesday's hospital announcement signaling that Liu was near death, his supporters grappled with the news that his family had declined to put him on respiratory support.

A stark update issued Monday evening by Liu's hospital said he was suffering from poor kidney function and bleeding in the liver from metastasizing tumors.

"Why the family made the decision is beyond the point, which is that this was a political murder", said Wu'er Kaixi, a Taiwan-based activist and one of Liu's former students in 1989. "What is on display is still the manipulation and control of information and dishonesty of the Chinese government", Human Rights Watch's Asia researcher Maya Wang said.

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