Liu, a writer and scholar who helped to draft a manifesto advocating peaceful political reform, was arrested in 2008, convicted of "inciting subversion of state power", and sentenced in 2009 to 11 years' imprisonment.
The legal bureau in the northeastern city of Shenyang said on its website that Liu succumbed to multiple organ failure, three days after being taken into intensive care at the First Hospital of China Medical University.
Now, Liu Xia is increasingly the focus of an worldwide campaign for her freedom and right to live overseas, which many friends and supporters say were her husband's dying wishes.
AS tributes pour in from around the world in the wake of Nobel Peace Prize victor Liu Xiaobo's death, coverage of his death has been largely silenced in mainland China.
China faced worldwide calls Friday to free the widow of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo after global condemnation over the Communist regime's refusal to grant the democracy champion's dying wish to leave the country.
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday he "deeply regrets" that China didn't let Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, travel to Germany.
United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that the United Nations chief sent his condolences to Liu's family and friends. "I think the authorities are afraid of seeing even the simplest last words from him get out and spread".
"Our thoughts are with Dr Liu's family and friends at this time", she said in a statement on Friday.
Born in December 1955, in Jilin Province, in north-east China, Mr Liu was the son of a professor who remained a loyal Communist Party member despite the fact his son dedicated his life to breaking ranks and actively disobeying the party line.
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In early July, Liu's Chinese doctors said he was not healthy enough to be sent overseas for treatment, a position that was contradicted by USA and German medical experts invited by the hospital to examine Liu's condition.
"If she wants to leave China, there is no justification for denying her the opportunity to do so". The basic need of going for a daily walk in a local park was snatched from her for fear that journalists might approach her to ask questions about her husband, Hu Jia, a fellow activist and a family friend, said. "By letting a Nobel peace prize victor die in custody they lost a chance to show humanity and instead proved their cold-blooded nature". "Even if I were crushed into powder, I would still use my ashes to embrace you".
In the Chinese territory of Hong Kong, which enjoys broad freedoms not granted in mainland China, around 100 protesters gathered in silence outside Beijing's representative office, some quietly sobbing and others with their heads bowed.
The White House says President Donald Trump was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Chinese political prisoner Liu Xiaobo.
At an earlier news conference during a visit to Paris, Trump made no mention of Liu when asked about the U.S. A great leader. He's a very talented man.
Lam was speaking in her first interview with the global media since she was sworn in as the city's new leader by Chinese President Xi Jinping on July 1.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on China to free Liu's widow, who has been under house arrest since 2010 but was allowed to be at the hospital as he said his final goodbye.
A White House official said on Wednesday that Trump raised Liu's case in a July 2 telephone call with Xi, while the US national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, raised it with his Chinese counterpart at the G20 meeting last week.