Obama Calls on China to Free Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo

Associated Press + More

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is calling on China to quickly release Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

Hours after Liu was awarded the prize Friday, Obama said in a statement that Liu "has sacrificed his freedom for his beliefs." He called Liu "an eloquent and courageous spokesman for the advance of universal values through peaceful and nonviolent means."

Last year China sentenced Liu to 11 years in prison on subversion charges after he co-authored a document calling for greater freedom.

Obama says China has made dramatic progress on economic reform, but "this award reminds us that political reform has not kept pace."

Obama, who received the peace prize last year, said many of the recipients over the years have "sacrificed so much more" than himself.