China won't pay price for Nobel winner's death, say supporters

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Friends of China's Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo, who died of liver cancer in custody, said on Friday they are still unable to contact his widow, Liu Xia, and that ensuring her freedom is now a top priority.

China has responded to global criticism by lodging diplomatic protests with countries that have spoken out in support Liu Xiaobo, including the United States, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on. The Norwegian Nobel Committee honoured Liu for his long and non-violent fight for fundamental human rights in China.

The undated photo shows Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo (L in both photos) with his wife, poet Liu Xia, in a hospital in China. He predicted that even after Liu's death, Beijing's attempts to cover up his message of democratic change would persist. The activist, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, had been sentenced to 11 years for his efforts to promote democracy.

The Chinese embassy in Oslo explained that a visa could not be granted to meet a deceased person and that it would require an invitation from either Liu's widow or relative, NRK said.

"Liu lived in an era when China witnessed the most rapid growth in recent history, but he attempted to confront Chinese mainstream society under Western support". Reporting his death, CCTV said Liu had been "jailed for engaging in activities created to overthrow the Chinese government". He was moved from his cell to a guarded bed at the First Hospital of China Medical University, where he was barred from speaking out or going overseas for treatment.

In her statement Solberg noted that she had received the news of Liu's death "with great sorrow" and that Liu had been "a central voice for human rights and China's ongoing development" for several decades.

During the treatment, doctors with the hospital held 25 consultations, had five joint diagnoses with Chinese experts from outside, and briefed Liu Xiaobo's family on his illness for 23 times, Doctor Liu said.

Tsai had previously said Taiwan would be willing to aid in Liu's treatment. "They wouldn't meet the Dalai Lama when he visited Norway in 2014, for fear of the consequences (with China)", Nygaard recalled.

That far from satisfied critics of China's authoritarian regime that had jailed Liu for "inciting subversion" because of his promotion of democracy and human rights.

Liu's death has triggered a flurry of calls from Western governments and officials for Beijing to let his wife leave China as she wishes.

However, Beijing-based activists, as claimed by reports, say they are unaware of the whereabouts of Xia following the demise of Xiaobo.

Many held signs reading "The people's hero, he'll always be remembered", "the murder of a dissident" and "free Liu Xia".

Liu Xiaobo was not the charter's main author - but of its roughly 300 signatories, he drew the heaviest punishment.

"She was just standing there alone, smoking a cigarette", Hu said. Liu is also known for his role in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing.

Internet censors meanwhile scrubbed Chinese social media of comments related to the Nobel laureate, blocking search terms including Liu Xiaobo, LXB and RIP.

The United Nations says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "deeply saddened" to learn of the death of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiabo. Link asked, a reference to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Under de facto house arrest since his Nobel win, Liu Xia saw her communication with the outside world nearly completely cut by the government.

"In 'No Enemies, No Hared, ' he once said 'I firmly believe that China's political progress will never stop, and I'm full of optimistic expectations of freedom coming to China in the future, because no force can block the human desire for freedom".