International

Nobel widow allowed to leave

China after long house arrest

BERLIN (AP) — In the fall of 2010, Liu Xia traveled to a prison in northeast China to tell her husband, dissident intellectual Liu Xiaobo, that he had just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. That was the last time she left home as a free woman. Until now.

China allowed her to leave the country Tuesday, ending an eight-year house arrest that made the soft-spoken, chain-smoking 57-year-old poet with a shaven head a tragic icon known around the world.

As Liu Xia came off a plane in Helsinki, Finland, to transfer to a flight to Berlin, she spread her arms and grinned widely at a waiting photographer. A few hours later, she was seen getting into a car at Berlin’s Tegel airport.

The release of Liu Xia, who was never charged with a crime, results from years of campaigning by Western governments and activists and comes just days before the one-year anniversary Friday of Liu Xiaobo’s death. 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 inspiring other Chinese.

Tesla will build its 1st factory

outside US in Shanghai

BEIJING (AP) — Electric car producer Tesla will build its first factory outside the United States in Shanghai, becoming the first wholly foreign-owned automaker in China.

Tesla Inc.’s announcement comes amid mounting U.S.-Chinese tension over technology and follows Beijing’s April promise to end restrictions that required foreign automakers to work through local partners.

Tesla said construction would begin in the near future, once official permits are obtained. It said production would begin two to three years after that and eventually increase to 500,000 vehicles annually.

No financial details of the agreement signed Tuesday were announced. A city government statement said the factory would be the biggest foreign investment to date in Shanghai, a base for joint ventures between General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG and a state-owned automaker.

The signing ceremony was attended by Tesla chairman Elon Musk, Mayor Ying Yong and other Chinese officials, according to the city government.

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