It turns out that the prospect of the Chinese Embassy’s address in Washington D.C. being changed to “1 Liu Xiaobo Plaza,” is in fact a big deal after all, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry making vague threats and the Obama administration likely to concede to their demands. Hold on to your popcorn!
In response to the US Senate unanimously passing a bill to rename the square outside the Chinese Embassy in honor of imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo, China’s Foreign Ministry issued a warning yesterday, describing the bill as “contrary to the basic norms of international relations.”
Spokesman Hong Lei, who’s otherwise been preoccupied this week criticizing Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop, offered these ominous words: “If the relevant bill is passed into law it will cause serious consequences. We demand the U.S. Senate stop promoting the bill and hope the U.S. executive authorities put an end to this political farce.”
Apparently, Obama’s administration agrees and recommended a veto of the bill, reports the Washington Post. The bill still has to make it through the House of Representatives before it reaches the president’s desk.
“We view this kind of legislative action as something that only complicates our efforts, so we oppose this approach,” said State Department spokesman Mark Toner. “It’s our desire to work more productively and cooperatively with Congress on ways to address our shared goal of improving human rights in China.”
In response to that, Republican presidential hopeful and Texas senator Ted Cruz — instigator of the controversial bill and head troll — poured salt everywhere and accused Obama of being a snake. In Cruz’s view, the tiptoeing around China merely demonstrates “eagerness to coddle an authoritarian Communist regime at the expense of pro-American dissidents.”
“The moral high ground enjoyed by the United States is an advantage when dealing with a country like China, not something to be voluntarily abandoned,” Cruz continued. “How ironic it is that the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate is threatening to veto a bill honoring the 2010 one.”
Currently, the address of the Chinese Embassy in Washington is 3505 International Pl. NW. Stay tuned to see how long that’ll last.