- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The House Appropriations Committee hoped to send a message on Tuesday, approving a measure that would order the State Department to rename the street directly in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington after Liu Xiaobo, a dissident who is being detained by the Chinese government.

The amendment was offered by Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, and is a bipartisan effort that has the support of several D.C.-area Congress members, his office said in a press release.

“The amendment directs the Secretary of State to officially rename the section of International Place that runs directly in front of the Chinese Embassy ‘Liu Xiaobo Plaza’ and post accompanying street signs,” the release states.

“For purposes of U.S. Postal code, the embassy’s address would change to No. 1 Liu Xiaobo Plaza so that every piece of incoming mail to the embassy would bear the name of the imprisoned Nobel laureate,” it reads.

Mr. Wolf argued during the committee’s debate of the measure that approval would send “a clear and powerful message that the United States remains vigilant and resolute in its commitment to safeguard human rights around the globe.”

The Republican proposed the measure only after learning that the street is owned by the federal government and not D.C.

In May, a bipartisan group of Congress members wrote a letter to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Council members, requesting the street name change.

And on June 4, the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, a group of 15 senators also sent a letter, pledging their support for the name change.

Liu is a Chinese human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist single-party rule. He is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for inciting subversion against the Chinese government.