Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of Nobel laureate and writer Liu Xiaobo's detention. The United States is deeply concerned that Chinese authorities continue to imprison Liu Xiaobo, as well as other activists, such as Xu Zhiyong, for peacefully exercising their universal right to freedom of expression. Equally concerning is the nearly three-year politically motivated house arrest of Liu Xiaobo's wife, Liu Xia.
We note that the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has determined Liu Xiaobo's ongoing imprisonment and Liu Xia's house arrest to be in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We strongly urge Chinese authorities to release Liu Xiaobo, to end Liu Xia's house arrest, and to guarantee to Liu Xiaobo and his family members all internationally recognized human rights protections and freedoms.
As the United States builds a constructive relationship with China, U.S. leaders will continue to raise concerns related to respect for the rule of law, human rights, religious freedom, and democratic principles with their Chinese counterparts. We continue to believe that respect for international human rights is critical to China's growth, prosperity, and long-term stability.