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Obama to China: Free Liu Xiaobo

President Obama has gone beyond any simple congratulatory message for 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, he's called for the Chinese to free him:

I welcome the Nobel Committee's decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Mr. Liu Xiaobo... By granting the prize to Mr. Liu, the Nobel Committee has chosen someone who has been an eloquent and courageous spokesman for the advance of universal values through peaceful and non-violent means, including his support for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law...

Over the last 30 years, China has made dramatic progress in economic reform and improving the lives of its people, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty. But this award reminds us that political reform has not kept pace, and that the basic human rights of every man, woman and child must be respected. We call on the Chinese government to release Mr. Liu as soon as possible.

Surely, this won't go down well with the Chinese, who were already quite unhappy about the first Chinese winner being imprisoned for his pro-democracy work a criminal while also facing other U.S. pressures.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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