China invites American, German cancer experts to treat Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo
A protester holds a portrait of Liu Xiaobo as she steps on portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping during a candlelight vigil demanding the release of Liu. Photograph: (Reuters)
China has invited medical experts from the US and Germany to come and help treat cancer-stricken Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, authorities said on Wednesday.
The Chinese hospital caring for Liu made the decision at the request of the family and in consultation with the doctors already treating him, the Shenyang Bureau of Justice said in a short statement on its website.
Liu was released from prison last month on medical grounds after he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.
He was jailed in 2009 for 11 years for "inciting subversion of state power" after he helped write a petition known as "Charter 08" calling for sweeping political reforms in China.
Since he was released, China has faced international calls to give Liu the option to get treatment abroad.
Last week, newly appointed US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad said the US would like to see Liu treated elsewhere for his cancer.
But authorities have insisted that the 61-year-old Nobel laureate has been under the care of top Chinese cancer doctors.
The move comes ahead of President Xi Jinping's attendance at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on Friday and Saturday.
Diplomatic sources in Beijing say China has been nervous that the issue over the Nobel Peace Prize winner could overshadow Xi's appearance, according to Reuters.