The US relationship with China has sharply deteriorated since then, with lawmakers of both parties backing a tough stance against the Pacific power.
President Donald Trump’s administration has repeatedly sought to blame China for the spread of the pandemic, which has since killed more than 250,000 people worldwide.
Critics say Trump is trying to deflect attention from his handling of the crisis in the United States, which has suffered by far the highest number of COVID-19 deaths of any country.
China is not the only nation targeted by such symbolic action.
The City Council in Washington in 2018 named a block outside the Russian embassy after Boris Nemtsov, one of President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critics, who was shot dead in Moscow in 2015.
After the US proposal on Liu Xiaobo, some Chinese proposed naming the street outside the US embassy in Beijing after Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who fled the United States to unveil government snooping on its citizens.
The US consulate in the Indian city of Kolkata, a stronghold of communists, lies on a street named after Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh.