China urges US to block bill to honour convicted criminal

Beijing, Feb 16 (IANS) A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman urged the US Congress to block approval by the senate of a bill to rename a street in Washington DC after Liu Xiaobo, a convicted Chinese criminal.

Spokesman Hong Lei on Tuesday said that if the bill becomes a law, it will have “serious consequences”. He did not elaborate, Xinhua reported.

China is firmly opposed to the bill because it violated basic norms of international relations, according to Hong.

“We urge the US Congress to stop considering the bill,” Hong said, adding the Chinese side also hopes the US administration will end the “political farce.”

The bill wants to rename the street after Liu, a Chinese man sentenced to 11 years in prison on December 25, 2009, after a Beijing court convicted him of violating Chinese law and engaging in activities aimed at overthrowing the government.

The bill still needs to be approved by the US House of Representatives and must be signed by the president before it can become a law.

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