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Chinese Activist to Congress: 'Appeasement' to PRC Made World Democracies 'Accomplices' in Liu Xiaobo's Death

WASHINGTON -- A Chinese human rights activist told a congressional panel Friday that "world democracies' appeasement" to the regime in the People's Republic as China continues rampant human rights abuses "has made them accomplices of Liu Xiaobo's slow murder."

"If the world continues to acquiesce to China's aggression against its own people, engaging it without any moral clarity, Liu Xiaobo's tragedy will repeat," Yang Jianli told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, adding "the U.S. can, and should, do more" to help Liu's persecuted family.

Chinese democracy activist and political prisoner Liu, whose 2010 Nobel Peace Prize awarded while he was behind bars infuriated the authoritarian regime in Beijing, died Thursday of liver cancer at age 61.

Liu, a veteran of the Tiananmen Square protests, had been sentenced to 11 years in prison on Christmas Day 2009 for being one of the writers of 2008's Charter 08 declaring that "political democratic reforms cannot be delayed any longer," including separation of powers, free markets, human rights protections, and freedom of speech, assembly, and religion. His lawyers were allowed to argue his case for only 14 minutes. The charge was "inciting subversion" against the communist state.

Yang, a onetime rising star in China's Communist Party who became a democracy activist and protested at Tiananmen, was imprisoned for five years in 2002. He eventually returned to the United States, where he had received his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, and founded Initiatives for China.

Liu was taken to the hospital May 23 for internal bleeding, Yang told lawmakers, and the news of his late-stage cancer leaked at the end of June. "During this time, his tumor enlarged from 5 to 6 cm to 11 to 12 cm. It is reported that Liu Xiaobo had two CT tests the last year. How can two test -- two test failed to review Xiaobo's fairly large liver cancer tumors? Many, including myself, suspected that the Chinese officials intentionally concealed this information," he said, adding that Liu's records are classified as state secrets though it was known the prisoner was suspected of suffering from Hepatitis B in 2010.

"I strongly believe that China's regime deliberately chose not to treat Liu Xiaobo's cancer earlier," Yang said. "His lawyers had been petitioning the government to grant him medical parole, but the Chinese authorities never allowed him proper diagnosis and treatment. In China, it is not the doctors, but the party officials to decide whether to grant medical parole. In other words, medical parole in China is a political -- not a medical decision. In Liu Xiaobo's case, it was up to China's top leaders to decide. The denial of medical care led to Liu Xiaobo's advanced the liver cancer, and at its core, was a disguised death sentence."