An outraged Beijing is calling on US President Barack Obama to veto a bill that would rename a street outside the Chinese embassy in Washington after jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo.
The bill introduced by Republican Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz passed the Senate. However, it needs approval from Congress and the president.
“We urge the US Congress to stop the approval procedure of the bill,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei. “We also hope that the US administration can put an end to this political farce.”
Hong also warned that renaming the street after Liu would “cause severe consequences.”
A State Department spokesman said on Tuesday that Obama likely would veto the bill.
“We view this kind of legislative action as something that only complicates our efforts, so we oppose this approach,” he told the BBC.
Liu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for his efforts in advocating for a “more open and democratic China,” according to the BBC. He was recognized while in jail.
In 2009, Liu was arrested by Chinese authorities for “subversion.”
Cruz attempted to introduce the bill twice last year, before being blocked by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein.
If the bill gets presidential approval, the embassy’s address would be changed from 3505 International Plaza to 1 Liu Xiaobo..