Tsai urges China to give Liu Xiaobo freedom to make medical choice

2017/07/12 19:05:18 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, July 12 (CNA) Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday urged Beijing to allow gravely ill Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) to choose where he receives medical treatment.

In a meeting of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP's) Central Standing Committee, Tsai "urged the Beijing authority to give Liu and his family back their freedom, so that he can make his own decisions as to where and how he receives medical treatment," DPP Spokeswoman Chiu Li-li (邱莉莉) told reporters after the meeting.

"Taiwan is also willing to provide all possible assistance," Chiu cited Tsai as saying, adding that "allowing Mr. Liu Xiaobo to receive proper medical care is the number one priority."

In the meeting on Wednesday, the president noted Liu's status as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and one of the initiators of the Charter 08 Manifesto, which calls for political reform in China, for which he was imprisoned. Liu was diagnosed with cancer and is now in a critical condition, Chiu said.

"Not only us (Taiwan), but the whole world is greatly concerned" over his condition, she quoted the president as saying.

Liu, China's most famous political prisoner, is currently battling liver cancer at the First Hospital of China Medical University in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang.

The hospital said on Wednesday that Liu is in life-threatening condition and experiencing multiple organ failure.

The 61-year-old pro-democracy advocate, who is serving 11 years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power," was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in May and granted medical parole for treatment the following month.

The Chinese government has come under fire for refusing to allow Liu to travel abroad for treatment, despite repeated calls from human rights activists and foreign governments for China to do so.

(By Sophia Yeh and Christie Chen)

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