Statement by the Chairs on the Fifth Anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s Death

(Washington)--Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative James P. McGovern (D-MA), the Chair and Cochair respectively of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China, issued the following statement on the fifth anniversary of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo's death.

“We honor Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo today on the fifth anniversary of his untimely death. He remains a towering inspiration for all those seeking justice, freedom, and human rights in China. We will continue to remember Liu Xiaobo’s legacy because it demonstrates that notions of human rights and democracy are not foreign concepts in China, but are rooted both in Chinese history and in the reforms sought by rights defenders and change advocates in China today. We will continue to commemorate Liu Xiaobo’s life because it remains too dangerous to do so in mainland China, and now even in Hong Kong.    

“We will continue to publicly and persistently call out the Chinese government’s human rights abuses and work to increase support for legal reformers, academic freedom advocates, independent journalists, human rights defenders, and pro-democracy activists in China and in exile. And we pledge to continue urging the U.S. government, the UN, and our allies and partners around the world to do likewise. At a time when efforts to realize reforms and rights protections in China are sometimes brutally suppressed, it is critically important for the international community to be vocal and united in the demand that the Chinese government uphold international standards, release political prisoners, and end genocide.            

“Despite repression, we continue to believe that the moment will come when the Chinese people will succeed in their struggle for dignity and human rights and, at that time, Liu Xiaobo will rightly be recognized in China as a hero.”