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Rep. Meadows Introduces Cruz Bill Honoring Chinese Dissidents

House companion bill would rename plaza in front of Chinese embassy

February 2, 2016

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WASHINGTON, D.C. —U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today announced that legislation to rename the plaza in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. as “Liu Xiaobo Plaza,” after pro-democracy dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Liu Xiaobo, (S. 2451) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). Dr. Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, have been imprisoned for seeking basic human rights denied to them by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Detained in 2008, Dr. Liu continues to be unjustly imprisoned under the authority of PRC President Xi Jinping. Dr. Liu was one of the authors of “Chapter 08,” an anti-Communist manifesto calling for political freedom and human justice in China.

“Dr. Liu’s enormous courage and willingness to voluntarily sacrifice not only his own freedom, but also that of those most dear to him, poses a challenge to the free world,” Sen. Cruz said. “Will we be silent, eager to enjoy the economic benefits of cooperation with the PRC? Or will we put President Xi on notice that for America, human rights are no longer ‘off the table,’ and that we are listening to the truth about communist China. I believe that the freedom championed by Dr. Liu is possible for all the Chinese people. I believe that from Tiananmen Square to Taiwan the evidence is clear that the Chinese desire—and are capable of—democracy. I believe that we have a moral responsibility not to marginalize Dr. Liu and his brave fellow dissidents, but to make their plight central to all our dealings with the PRC. This would be the street sign that the Chinese ambassador would look at each day. This would be the address that every piece of correspondence going into the embassy and coming out of the embassy would have written on it. I thank my colleague in the House, Rep. Mark Meadows, for standing with me on this issue and standing up for the people of China who so desperately yearn for freedom.”

“The United States must not be silent in the face of grave human rights abuses carried out against innocent individuals abroad by oppressive regimes,” said Rep. Meadows. “I call on my colleagues to join me in support of renaming the street outside of the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. after Nobel Peace laureate, Liu Xiaobo, who is currently wrongly imprisoned in China. We must send a clear signal of support and solidarity to those who dare to speak out against human rights abuses by their governments.”

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) have joined Sen. Cruz as cosponsors of this legislation. Read the full Senate version of the bill here.  

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