Liu Xia, wife of late China dissident, arrives in Berlin

Liu Xia

"Xiaobo is gone, and there's nothing in the world for me now", Liu said tearfully.

Her release comes after years of campaigning by Western governments and activists.

As she got off a plane in transit at the airport in Helsinki, she spread her arms and grinned widely at a waiting photographer.

Friends say Liu Xia had expressed an interest in going to Germany, where she has a network of friends among Chinese dissidents.

Based on a series of lengthy statements issued by both China's state news agency, Xinhua, and China's foreign ministry, China achieved fruitful results on trade with Germany. China hopes to team up with Germany. The last time a high-profile political prisoner was allowed to leave China was in 2012, when Beijing permitted the blind activist Chen Guangcheng to fly to NY after he escaped from house arrest and hid for six days in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Johnny Lau, a political commentator in Hong Kong, said he believed the authorities had let Ms Liu go to avoid her case sparking a "surge" of pressure on China around the July 13 anniversary of Liu Xiaobo's death.

As the United States on July 6 officially launched "the biggest trade war ever in economic history" (as China's Commerce Ministry referred to it), China's financial markets have been experiencing serious fluctuations. "China hopes to team up with Germany", Mr Lau said.

Specifically, both sides plan to strengthen cooperation on digitization, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, new energy vehicles, and scientific and technological innovation - the items that the US government aims to hit the hardest via its trade war, which targets advanced technologies that are the focus of the "Made in China 2025" plan. In a letter published a year ago, Liu wrote she was "going mad" in her isolation, according to the AFP news agency.

Days after the Nobel Committee awarded him the Peace Prize in 2010, infuriating Beijing, Chinese authorities put Liu Xia under house arrest.


Liu's 11-year prison sentence and his wife's subsequent detention in her home had become glaring symbols of the authoritarian government's determination to prevent the couple from becoming an inspiration to other Chinese.

She was finally given a passport last week, this friend, who did not wish to be named, told AFP.

In May, Western diplomats tried to visit her in her home, but were turned away by security personnel, an official of one of the embassies involved told Reuters at the time. The other source suggested that with Liu Hui still in China, his sister would be less likely to speak out about her treatment by Beijing from overseas.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is in Germany this week.

Germany, which is also home to dissident artist Ai Weiwei, has been outspoken on rights in China.

People mourn the death of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo during a demonstration outside the Chinese liaison office.

Liu Xia's departure was "wonderful news" but harassment of her family remained a risk to her freedom to criticise China, Amnesty International's China researcher Patrick Poon said. Wu said he spoke to Liu Xia's older brother, Liu Tong. In 2009, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The primary doctor responsible for Liu Xiaobo's treatment said at a press conference late Thursday that in the activist's final moments, he told his wife to "live well".

Concerns for her safety surged in May, after a conversation between Liu Xia and her friend, exiled Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, surfaced on the Internet.

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