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U.S. congressional Democrats and Republicans condemned Beijing on Friday over the recent death of Liu Xiaobo, saying the demise of the imprisoned Nobel laureate highlighted the Chinese government's disregard for human rights. Chinese coverage of Liu Xiaobo's death has been minimal.

As global media descended on the hospital that had been treating Liu for more than a month, most locals appeared to be oblivious about the political prisoner, whose name is extremely sensitive in the Communist country.

"Liu's efforts were not in vain", said Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Tsai, the leader of the world's only Chinese-speaking democracy, said she mourned his passing.

The German government is urging China to allow imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo to leave the country for medical treatment.

China has lodged a protest with the USA to show its dissatisfaction following remarks from Washington about Liu's death, he added.

China has rejected worldwide criticism for not allowing Mr Liu, who had been serving an 11-year prison term for "subversion", to be treated overseas.

Human rights activists are now pushing for the Communist government to release Liu's wife, poet Liu Xia, who has been held under house arrest in Beijing since 2010.

"China has lost a deeply principled role model who deserved our respect and adulation, not the prison sentences to which he was subjected", said USA ambassador to China Terry Branstad.

Worldwide tributes poured in for a "hero" of democracy while human rights groups accused the government of "cruelty". "In his death, he has only reaffirmed the Nobel Committee's selection", Tillerson said.

"Mr. Liu, rest in peace", wrote rights lawyer Zhang Peihong on his WeChat account.

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The official Chinese media have not reported Liu's death, according the Beijing correspondent of the SRF public radio. An editorial in one English-language tabloid sought to portray Li not as a victim of the Communist party, but of western "forces" who had tried to use him to undermine party rule.

"They used Liu's illness as a tool to boost their image and demonize China", it said. "We must do all we can to end Liu Xia's illegal house arrest and surveillance and ensure that she is no longer persecuted by the authorities", Amnesty's Shetty said.

"My heartfelt condolences go out to Liu's wife Liu Xia and all of his loved ones".

Tributes to Liu quickly poured in from Chinese intellectuals and human rights advocates, who described the former college lecturer as a moderate liberal who advocated peaceful resistance to Chinese authorities.

The First Hospital of China Medical University where China's Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo died in Shenyang, Liaoning province, on July 13. The Chinese government reacted by briefly suspending trade with Norway.

In reply to questions of why the patient was not transferred overseas for treatment, DoctorLiu said the patient was in a critical condition that did not allow him being moved to elsewhere. "For [China], they do not want to highlight Liu Xiaobo because he is a powerful voice for freedom and against tyranny", Cruz said. On that day when I met him, in 2007, at a teahouse near his apartment, he told me that as China became stronger and more connected to the world, he imagined that the "current regime might become more confident".

"But I think the historic message they are leaving is very different". He is the first Nobel laureate to die in state custody since Carl von Ossietzky, who died of tuberculosis under the watch of Nazi secret police in Berlin, Germany, in 1938.

But outside the mainland, Chinese activists have been openly mourning him, with hundreds in Hong Kong attending a vigil on Thursday night.

A group of plainclothes officers appeared like ghosts from behind tombstones next to the crematorium where the body of China's most prominent dissident was rumoured to have been taken after his death.

And President Donald Trump, on a trip to Paris, avoided criticism of Beijing over Liu's death.

Cruz said only one man, President Xi Jinping, was preventing Liu and his wife from coming to America to live out his remaining days, as was their wish.


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