Liu Xiaobo

US pokes Beijing with 'Liu Xiaobo Plaza' Washington embassy address

Republican Frank Wolf says change would highlight Liu’s 'unjust imprisonment'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2014, 9:00pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 5:35am

China may soon have an unhappy address for its embassy in Washington.

The House Appropriations Committee has included in its next year State Department budget a proposal to rename the stretch of road in front of the embassy “Liu Xiaobo Plaza.”

China’s imposing embassy, which was designed by I.M. Pei and opened in 2009, is among at least 18 diplomatic missions concentrated on the quiet International Place and International Drive section of northwest Washington.

Liu, a writer, was jailed over his involvement in Tiananmen Square. Later, in 2009, he was slapped with an 11-year sentence for subversion after spearheading a bold petition for democracy reforms. China’s government voiced outrage when he won the Nobel Peace Prize a year later.

The amendment, proposed by Republican Frank Wolf, says the new name should apply for US postal code purposes. The embassy’s street address would be No. 1.

Wolf said the change would highlight Liu’s “unjust imprisonment.”

In the 1980s, the street in front of the Soviet Embassy in Washington was named after dissident Andrei Sakharov. In a very different case, the left-wing government in the Indian city of Kolkata renamed the street going past the US embassy after Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse