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Chinese dissident Liu Xia's health improves

Ashutosh Pandey
August 11, 2018

The widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo moved to Berlin in July after years of house arrest in China. In a picture tweeted by exiled Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, she can be seen enjoying a glass of German beer.

Liu Xia, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, stands in a residence in Berlin.
Image: picture alliance/Tienchi Martin-Liao via AP Photo

Liu Xia's mental and physical health have significantly improved over the past month, Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday.

Liu Xia, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, moved to Berlin in July after almost eight years of house arrest in China.

"The strength of her medicines has been reduced. She can now handle walking up to 3 kilometers a day — this was virtually impossible last month," the newspaper quoted her younger brother, Liu Hui, as saying.

Read moreLiu Xiaobo, China's dissident 'without enemies'

Liu Hui, who is not allowed to leave China, told the newspaper that his sister was still undergoing detailed physical examinations.

"She likes the weather, but she is still taking to adjust to the German diet," he was quoted as saying. "But overall, her life has stabilized."

The newspaper said Liu Xia was deliberately keeping a low profile in Berlin out of concern for her brother in China, who is out on parole after being sentenced to an 11-year jail term for fraud in 2013.

"I do plan on visiting her, but I will still have to fight for it in the time to come," Liu Hui told the South China Morning Post.

'Ich bin ein Berliner'

Liu Xia is slowly settling in to her new home in the German capital in the company of friends and allies who campaigned for her release.

Her daily routine includes reading books, meeting friends and exercising, the newspaper said.

Exiled Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, one of Liu Xia's close fiends, tweeted a photograph of her enjoying a glass of German beer. The picture was captioned "Ich bin ein Berliner," German for "I am a Berliner," echoing the famous words of former US President John F. Kennedy spoken in 1963 during his visit to then-West Germany.

Liu Xia, a poet and artist, was put under house arrest in 2010, days after her imprisoned husband, Liu Xiaobo, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

He had been sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of inciting subversion of state power.

Liu Xiaobo died of liver cancer last July aged 61. He was a writer, critic and activist who called for political reforms and an end to one-party rule in China.

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DW Nachrichten TV | Ashutosch Pandey
Ashutosh Pandey Business editor with a focus on international trade, financial markets and the energy sector.@ashutoshpande85
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