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Rubio, Cotton, Sasse Bill Renames Chinese Embassy Street “Li Wenliang Plaza”

May 7, 2020 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Ben Sasse (R-NE) introduced a bill to rename the street outside the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. “Li Wenliang Plaza.” The bill honors the late Dr. Li Wenliang, the Wuhan-based doctor who warned the world about the coronavirus before the Chinese Communist Party silenced him.

Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) introduced companion legislation in the House.

“The Chinese Communist Party may have forcefully silenced Dr. Li for informing the public about COVID-19, but Beijing’s totalitarian censorship cannot erase what the global community now knows,” Rubio said. “Renaming the street outside of the Chinese embassy ensures that Dr. Li’s legacy is never forgotten and will serve as a stark reminder to the Chinese government and Communist Party that the U.S. will stand with the oppressed and not with their oppressors.”  

“The Chinese Communist Party wants the world to forget the name Li Wenliang,” Cotton said. “CCP officials forced the Wuhan-based doctor to retract his early warnings about coronavirus, and government censors scrubbed Chinese social media of his name after his death. We’ll ensure the name Li Wenliang is never forgotten—by placing it permanently outside the embassy of the nation responsible for the deaths Dr. Li tried to prevent.”

“Dr. Li’s professional ethics made him an enemy of the Chinese Communist Party and a hero to the Chinese people,” Sasse said. “Chairman Xi can try to claim Dr. Li as the Party’s own martyr, but the Chinese people know that it was Dr. Li’s selfless work and voice that the Party sought to silence. We can honor that work by renaming the street outside the Chinese Embassy after him. The street outside the embassy will draw a glaring contrast between the cruelty and lies of the Chinese Communist Party and the decency and compassion of the Chinese people.”

“The Chinese Government attempted to silence Dr. Li Wenliang who, at great personal risk, warned about the danger of Coronavirus. While the Chinese Communist Party caused the virus to be spread around the globe, resulting in death and economic devastation, brave medical professionals like Dr. Li spoke truth to the regime,” Cheney said. “I am honored to introduce this legislation to rename the street in front of the Chinese Embassy after Dr. Li. May this serve as a constant reminder to the world and to the Chinese Government that truth and freedom will prevail, that we will not forget the bravery of Dr. Li, and that the Chinese Communist Party will be held accountable for the devastating impact of their lies.”

Rubio is Co-Chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) as well as a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.