Posts Tagged ‘Chen Guangcheng’

#Chen Guangchen heading to NJ right now UPDATE

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Chen Guangchen and his family are on their way here,

BEIJING — Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng, who emerged at the center of a diplomatic row between the U.S. and China, left Beijing on a United Airlines flight bound for Newark, N.J., Saturday afternoon after Chinese officials and American diplomats swiftly arranged his travel out of the country for an uncertain new life in the United States.

Chen, in a brief telephone interview with The Washington Post, said he still did not have a valid passport in hand when he received a call Saturday from Chinese officials telling him to pack his belongings.

“They came to my ward suddenly at around 11 o’clock this morning,” Chen told the Post. “It’s a surprise.”

Chen said U.S. diplomats arrived at the airport around 2 p.m. Chen’s wife, Yuan Weijing, reached by telephone while waiting for the flight, said Chinese officals gave the family their passports after they arrived at the airport. U.S. diplomats readied the visa papers.

United Airlines Flight 88 to Newark took off several hours behind schedule. The delay was likely caused, among other things, by a thunderstorm.

His flight is scheduled to arrive in Newark at 6:05PM.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chen will most likely study at NYU rather than seek political asylum.

UPDATE:
Chen’s Freedom Celebrated by Ros-Lehtinen, Says Must Remain Vigilant Against Human Rights Abuse by Beijing

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement today regarding the announcement that Chinese lawyer and human rights advocate, Chen Guangcheng, has left China for the United States. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“I am pleased and relieved by the announcement that blind Chinese lawyer and human rights advocate, Chen Guangcheng, his wife, and their two children have left China for freedom in the United States.

“Mr. Chen’s journey to the U.S. marks the end of a seven-year ordeal of harassment, imprisonment, and beatings by the Chinese regime. He dared to publicly speak the truth about the abuse and violence that Chinese officials inflict on the women and families of his home province and, for that, he suffered greatly.

“I remain gravely concerned about Chen’s relatives and fellow human rights advocates who remain in China and face retribution by a Beijing regime that denies the most fundamental freedoms to the Chinese people.

“Congress will remain vigilant on behalf of Mr. Chen’s relatives and fellow activists. Their well-being must remain a priority for the United States. Responsible nations must not lose sight of our moral responsibility to support those who suffer under the chokehold of repressive rulers.”

UPDATE 2:
CHEN ARRIVES!

Linked by Instapundit. Thank you!


More on #Chen

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Petition to Pres. Obama to protect Chen Guangchen

Heritage held a press conference with Bob Fu, President of China Aid and Tiananmen Square student leader and Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. Both have long established relationships with Chen.

It is worth noting that Chen shares with Cuban dissident Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet a concern for the rights of women not to endure forced abortions.

Good luck with that: Chen Guangcheng wants to leave China in Hillary’s plane

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Activist Chen Guangcheng: Let Me Leave China on Hillary Clinton’s Plane
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast’s Melinda Liu, blind dissident Chen Guangcheng says he’s been abandoned by American officials at a Chinese hospital and begs to leave the country on Hillary Clinton’s plane.

When U.S. officials escorted him out of the U.S. embassy shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, Chen thought he’d extracted a promise that at least one of them would stay with him at the hospital, he said. “Many Americans were with me while I checked into the hospital and doctors examined me. Lots of them,” he told me from his hospital bed, where he’s being treated for broken bones in one foot, an injury sustained when he fell after climbing a wall during his daring escape from house arrest late last month. “But when I was brought to the hospital room, they all left. I don’t know where they went.” The ordeal was all the more bewildering because Chen is blind and was hurt during his escape; he needs crutches or a wheelchair to move around.

The hours ticked by, and Chen became more and more agitated. Even though he’d originally told friends and embassy officials that he wished to remain in China, now he wanted to leave. “I hope to seek medical treatment in the U.S. with my family, and then I want to rest,” he said. “As for the future, we’ll deal with that in the future.” At the hospital, Chen’s fears mounted as his wife told him she’d been tied to a chair, beaten, and interrogated by Chinese guards after they learned he had entered the U.S. embassy in Beijing last Friday.

Nick Zahnpoints out,

Congressman Frank Wolf (R–VA) reminds us in his Foreign Policy piece:

During a visit to Asia early in her tenure as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton famously said that U.S .concern with human rights issues in China “can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis.”

It is likely that this prioritization has not been forgotten by China’s leadership.

Doug Mataconis:

one wonders what impact this might have on the Obama Administration internationally and domestically. Frida Ghitis, in an opinion piece at CNN.com, puts it this way:

The Chen case, however, could become iconic. If the Obama administration cannot explain what went wrong, it will have opened itself to criticism from human rights advocates and from Republican rivals, that he badly fumbled.

The Chinese government has demanded an apology from Washington for helping Chen and for interfering in Chinese domestic affairs. But the Obama administration, which claimed it had stayed true to American values in the Chen case, needs to prove that it has the moral strength to stand up for one courageous individual who sought help.

This is not just about Chen. It is about universal principles of human rights, really, and about America’s willingness to defend them on the global stage. The whole world is watching.

We can’t save every political prisoner in China, but when they show up at the doorstep of our Embassy and we let them in things change significantly. If it turns out that we’ve turned Chen and his family back over to the wolves that’s going to be something the Obama Administration will have to answer for at some point.

Doug is an optimist. The media will turn a blind eye on Chen, and the Obama administration will have to answer to no one.

Prior post on Chen here.

UPDATE,
Didn’t take long for the Taiwanese Animation folks to come up with something,

Annals of smart diplomacy: Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng leaves U.S. embassy; deal to guarantee his safety may be unraveling, friends say

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Chen Guangcheng leaves U.S. embassy; deal to guarantee his safety may be unraveling, friends say

What initially seemed like a potential victory on the human rights front for the U.S. administration was quickly spiraling Wednesday evening into a worst-case scenario, fuelled by a series of updates blasting out regularly on Twitter. Chen was no longer under American protection, but in a Beijing hospital surrounded by Chinese plainclothes police, and it was uncertain whether Chen had left on his own free will, as U.S. officials maintained, or under coercion.

Hillary

Clinton, who spoke by phone with Chen in what U.S. officials described as an “emotional” conversation, said in a statement that she was “pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng’s stay and departure from the U.S. Embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values.”

Indeed.

Follow-up post here.