WASHINGTON — The U.S. is voicing deep concern over the jailing of a brother-in-law of imprisoned Chinese democracy activist Liu Xiabao and urging fair treatment for the Nobel laureate's family.

The in-law, Liu Hui, was found guilty of fraud in a real estate dispute and sentenced to 11 years in prison Sunday, an unusually harsh punishment in such a case.

The verdict came just hours after new Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with President Barack Obama in California.

In a statement Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called for Chinese authorities to release Liu Xiabao and his wife, Liu Xia, who is under house arrest.

Psaki said Obama told Xi at the summit that "history shows that upholding universal rights is ultimately a key to success, prosperity and justice for all nations."