Entries in Chinese dissident (3)


Chen Guangcheng: Chinese Dissident Arrives US

STR/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng and his immediate family arrived in Newark, N.J., Saturday evening, capping off three weeks of roller coaster diplomacy that reached the very highest levels of Chinese government and the White House. After landing at Newark-Liberty International Airport, Chen and his family headed straight to New York University.

Standing on crutches in lower Manhattan, Chen thanked both United States and Chinese officials for how the situation has been resolved since he escaped house arrest and turned up at the U.S. embassy in Beijing in April.

"For the past seven years, I have never had a day's rest," he said through a translator, "So I have come here for a bit of recuperation for body and in spirit."

"I feel like everybody is very passionate," he said. "I will say a few simple words to everyone here. After much turbulence, I have come out ... thanks to the assistance of many friends. The embassy has given me partial citizenship here. I'm very grateful to the U.S. and to the Chinese government for my protection over the long term. Very grateful to other friends like France, who have called in their support. I am gratified the Chinese government dealt with situation with restraint and calm."

Chen and his family were accompanied on the flight by two Chinese-speaking officers from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and they were met at Newark-Liberty International Airport by State Department personnel and NYU Law School Professor Jerome Cohen.

Chen will be a special student in law at NYU, working with professors Cohen and Frank Upham in the law school, NYU spokesman John Beckman said.

"He has worked with Prof. Cohen in the past and had a standing invitation to come here," Beckman said.

Chen and his family will live in NYU housing, he said.

The human rights activist is best known for his fight against forced abortions and sterilizations under the One Child Policy.

He served a four-year prison sentence for what are widely believed to have been trumped up charges before being placed under a brutal, extra-judicial house arrest in his hometown province of Shandong.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Will Chen Guangcheng Be in the US by Next Week?

STR/AFP/GettyImages(BEIJING) -- Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng could be in the U.S. by next week, as the Chinese dissident who escaped house arrest in April and his family are expected to receive their passports on Monday, May 21.

According to Chinese regulations, travel documents take 15 days to be processed.  Bob Fu, the Texas-based advocate for human rights in China, says the Chen family applied for their passports on May 6.

Fu said that if the passports are held up, there will be cause for real concern.  All paperwork on the U.S. side is in order, as confirmed by State Department Spokesman Victoria Nuland on Tuesday.

When Chen leaves China, he will also leave family and friends behind who continue to suffer abuse inflicted primarily by the local government in his hometown province of Shandong.  A Shanghai-based lawyer representing his nephew, Chen Kegui, says that he has been refused permission to meet with his client.

Chen Kegui is accused of attempted homicide, charges Chen Guangcheng says are completely false.  He says his nephew was defending himself against local authorities who broke into his home following his uncle’s escape from house arrest. 

Several other Chinese lawyers attempting to represent Chen Kegui say they have either been threatened or are suddenly unable to renew their legal licenses.

There are no signs Beijing is spearheading what is happening in Shandong.  But it also does not appear the government is making any effort to investigate or stop the reported abuse, despite the fact the U.S. claimed the Chinese government agreed to do just that in the initial deal it brokered for Chen’s release.

Dissidents, who ask to remain anonymous out of concern for their safety, say it is all too common for Beijing to silently allow abuse by local authorities similar to those Chen’s story has highlighted to continue, as the government sees it as an effective way of containing unrest.

When Chen does leave China, he is expected to travel to New York where he has been offered a visiting scholarship to study law at New York University.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Blind Chinese Dissident Escaped House Arrest, Under U.S. Protection

STR/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- A blind Chinese dissident is under protection from U.S. officials after he escaped from house arrest, U.S.-based rights group ChinaAid says, the BBC reports.

The group says that high-level talks are taking place between U.S. and Chinese officials over Chen Guangcheng's fate. Guangcheng escaped from house arrest last Sunday by scaling a high wall and then being driven hundreds of miles to Beijing, the BBC says. He released a video addressed to Prime Minister Wen Jiabao that was posted online by U.S.-based Chinese dissident site Boxun, asking him to investigate and prosecute local officials he says beat his family members, ensure his family's well-being and deal with and punish corruption in China according to the law, according to the BBC.

The incident could overshadow a visit to Beijing next week by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has repeatedly called for Guangcheng's release, the BBC says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio