U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will introduce legislation to rename the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. as “Liu Xiaobo Plaza,” after imprisoned human rights activist Dr. Liu Xiaobo.
Cruz announced the measure after Communist China refused to release Liu on humanitarian grounds after the activist was diagnosed with cancer.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of Dr. Liu Xiaobo’s cancer diagnosis and I hope that the United States will utilize any and all points of leverage with China to free Dr. Liu so that he can receive the medical treatment he needs. Sadly, forcing such a champion of freedom to fight this grim disease in shackles is what we have come to expect from the People’s Republic of China. But this is what authoritarian regimes do – seek to strangle the vibrancy of liberty and extinguish individual freedom,” said Cruz.
Cruz continued, “Dr. Liu sought to shine a light into the darkness of Communist China at great cost to his personal wellbeing and his family’s safety, especially that of his wife, Liu Xia. His fight should not be over. While we know that Communist China will do nothing from the goodness of its heart, thankfully we have an immediate point of leverage to effect his release if the Senate will swiftly take up and pass legislation to rename the street in front of the Chinese embassy ‘Liu Xiaobo Plaza.’ I hope that my colleagues will stand for freedom in China and pass it again. We are running out of time to save China’s greatest voice for freedom.”
Sen. Cruz has led the effort to rename the plaza in Dr. Liu’s honor since 2014, and most recently reintroduced legislation last month with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). He has also delivered speeches on the Senate floor in September, October, and November of 2015 to call attention to Dr. Liu’s plight and human rights abuses in communist China.
The Senate can rename the plaza, as the District of Columbia us under the jurisdiction of Congress. A previous attempt to honor Dr. Liu was blocked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA.)