US ambassador to China plans to get Nobel Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo overseas for cancer treatment
Jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner granted medical parole after he was diagnosed with liver cancer
The newly arrived US Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, says he will work with Beijing to help the jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo seek possible treatment overseas for his cancer and to rein in North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.
Liu has been diagnosed with late stage liver cancer and granted medical parole.
The civil rights activist was jailed for 11 years in 2009 after calling for sweeping political reforms in China. He was award the Nobel Peace Prize the following year while serving his jail sentence.
Branstad, speaking during his first press briefing after arriving in Beijing, said it was important for the two countries to work together on human rights issues, including helping Liu with his medical treatment.
“We are interested in doing what can be done to see if it’s possible, We Americans would like to see him have the opportunity for treatment elsewhere, if that could be of help,” said Branstad.
The former Iowa governor also mentioned his longstanding friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and said he would use his relationship with Xi and US President Donald Trump to bridge communications between the two countries. Branstad said he hoped to play an important role in organising Trump’s visit to China later this year.
The US ambassador said he would work with China to address the threat from North Korea and towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
Branstad added he would also work to expand trade between China and the US.
He will accompany the US Secretary of Agriculture, who will visit China this week, to discuss details of the sale of American beef in China, as well as exploring expanding the trade in corn and rice between the two countries.