Liu Xiaobo: Imprisoned Chinese dissident's condition critical, hospital says

World reacts with praise, sadness to Liu death

A furious China responded on Friday to worldwide censure over the death of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo by describing the decision to award him the peace prize in 2010 as "blasphemy", and said it had lodged protests with several countries for meddling in its "domestic affairs" by speaking up for the pro-democracy activist. "At the same time he had dignity", he said. "One can create some waves against the current, but history will eventually wash away these traces".

"Liu is a prisoner who was sentenced to imprisonment in accordance with Chinese law..." He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize the following year.

As the laureate gasped his last breaths in the First Hospital of China Medical University in the northeast city of Shenyang on Thursday, Xi himself sat smiling with Canada's governor general as the two countries signed agreements on sports and culture cooperation.

- 2010 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE - The honor is bestowed on Liu in recognition of his peaceful struggle for human rights and democracy, although, imprisoned, he is unable to attend.

The Nobel Committee held China "responsible" for the "premature" death of Xiaobo.

The police have kept his wife, Liu Xia, under house arrest, preventing her from speaking out about Liu's death and his belated treatment for cancer.

"As early as 2010 Liu Xiaobo was suspected of suffering from Hepatitis B. His lawyers had been petitioning the government to grant him medical parole but the Chinese authorities never allowed him proper [medical] diagnosis and treatment", he explained.

He gave the example of a similar effort in 1984 to rename the street in front of the Soviet embassy after Andrei Sakharov, the famed Soviet dissident.

Although he was able to secure a peaceful end to the protests, Xiaobo was still arrested by the Chinese authorities and was locked behind bars for 21 months on charges of "counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement", according to a BBC article. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), spoke about Liu on the Senate floor on Wednesday, shortly before his death. Liu responded to his trial with a warning about China's future. They have sacrificed comfort and normalcy to chart a path towards political liberalization.

His message was spelled out in Charter 08, a petition that pointed out the failings of China's Communist Party and argued that only democracy could fix the damage caused by its authoritarian rule.

It said Liu's family has refused the tracheostomy.

Friends, human rights defenders and world leaders have continued to pay tribute to Liu, the literature professor and critic who died "peacefully" at 5.35pm on Thursday, surrounded by his wife and his brothers Liu Xiaoguang and Liu Xiaoxuan. The United Kingdom also issued a statement, voicing its dissent against China over the death of Xiaobo.

"Politically, they didn't want Liu Xiaobo to go overseas, so it's even harder to imagine that they will let Liu Xia leave the country on humanitarian grounds", Poon said.

"We will also use public opinion and public opinion pressure to urge the Chinese Communist Party to open the cage door, so Liu Xia can get free" along with her brother, Hu said.

The House passed the measure the following day, and a similar resolution was introduced in the Senate by Sen.

Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times said in an English editorial that Mr Liu was "a victim led astray" by the West.

"That's why the Committee I chaired awarded #Liu Xiaobo the Peace Price (sic)", he added. Washington Post writes that, "Mr. Liu and his fellow hunger-strikers, fearing a bloodbath in the square, acted as negotiators between military forces and the remaining demonstrators".

"As long as he had a body, they had to contain the impact of what he embodied", said David Kelly, a longtime friend of Liu and China watcher.

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