China defends prison care of ailing Nobel Peace laureate Liu

China appears to be responding to criticism that prison authorities failed to provide sufficient care to the ailing Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, saying he received regular health checks but nothing abnormal was detected until May.

A statement from the judicial bureau of the northeastern city of Shenyang where Liu is being treated said medical teams were quickly assembled to diagnose and treat China's most famous political prisoner for late-stage liver cancer.

The statement issued overnight Wednesday said staff found suspicious symptoms during a routine physical checkup on May 31. It said a 22-member medical team was convened and a week later diagnosed Liu with liver cancer that had metastasized.

Following the revelation Monday of his deteriorating health, Liu's supporters questioned whether he'd been neglected or abused while incarcerated.