Blackburn, Cotton Seek to Rename Chinese Embassy Street ‘Li Wenliang Plaza’

May 7, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) introduced bicameral bills 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.

“Dr. Li took a great personal risk to tell the world about COVID-19 despite the looming threats of, and subsequent forced censorship by, the Chinese Communist Party,” said Senator Blackburn. “Even when he contracted the virus, Dr. Li continued his efforts to communicate his experience and what he knew about it. Dr. Li is a hero. In naming this street in his honor, we will show the Chinese government and the world that truth prevails and free speech is paramount to who we are as a nation. The American people are grateful for his sacrifice.”

“The Chinese Communist Party wants the world to forget the name Li Wenliang. 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,” said Senator Cotton.

“Dr. Li’s professional ethics made him an enemy of the Chinese Communist Party and a hero to the Chinese people. 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,” said Senator Sasse.

“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. Renaming the street outside of the Chinese embassy ensures that Dr. Li will never be forgotten, 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,” said Senator Rubio.

“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. 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,” said Representative Cheney.

The bill text may be found here.