The liver function of China’s Nobel Peace Prize winning dissident Liu Xiaobo has worsened, a hospital said on Thursday, while the government reiterated its hopes that other countries do not use Liu’s case to interfere in its affairs. Liu, 61, was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms. He was recently moved from jail to a hospital in the city of Shenyang for treatment of late stage liver cancer.
Liu has been being treated for various conditions as side effects of his cancer, including a build up of fluid in his stomach caused by liver scarring. “Liu Xiaobo’s liver function has worsened, his bilirubin levels are gradually rising,” the hospital said in a statement, referring to a substance produced by the liver, high levels of which can indicate liver failure. Asked about Liu’s condition on Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he had nothing new to add and reiterated that China hoped other countries would not use “individual cases” to interfere in China’s internal affairs.
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A liver expert from Beijing, Mao Yilei, had come to Shenyang to lead a consultation on Liu’s condition, the hospital said. The team decided to adjust his treatment plan and the family said they understood, the hospital said, without providing details. The city justice department said on Wednesday the hospital had invited doctors from the United States and Germany to help with Liu’s treatment.
President Xi Jinping is due to attend a summit of the Group of 20 nations in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday and Saturday, where he will seek to project Chinese leadership on issues such as climate change and free trade. Diplomatic sources in Beijing say China has been nervous the issue over the Nobel Peace Prize winner could overshadow Xi’s appearance. Rights group Amnesty International said the move appeared in part “an attempt to limit international criticism” even as the government continued to refuse to allow Liu to be treated overseas.