NEW YORK (Reuters) - When Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng arrived in the United States in May last year he was given a fellowship at New York University, use of a Greenwich Village apartment, and a pile of gifts from supporters, including smartphones and an iPad.
Washington — Hillary Clinton’s account of one of her crowning moments as secretary of state has been flatly contradicted by a leading Chinese activist.
Chen Guangcheng, a blind lawyer who escaped house arrest and caused a diplomatic crisis between China and the United States by taking refuge in the American embassy in Beijing in 2012, accused the Obama administration and Clinton of “giving in” to Chinese negotiators.
WASHINGTON — Blind dissident Chen Guangcheng on Tuesday urged China’s people to end the communist-governed nation’s “leadership of thieves” and for Washington not to “give an inch” on human rights in its relations with Beijing.
Chen made the comments as he received an award from a human rights group in a ceremony attended by several U.S. lawmakers on Capitol Hill. His speech was a stinging rebuke to authorities in China where he had faced years of persecution for his legal activism against forced abortions and for citizens’ rights.
The Chinese legal advocate Chen Guangcheng, facing the end of his fellowship at New York University, has claimed that NYU is forcing him out due to Chinese pressure. NYU's participation in a complex deal to allow Chen to leave China to study gave the dissident and his family breathing space, and helped the United States and China untangle a thorny diplomatic dilemma after Chen fled to the U.S. embassy in Beijing in April 2012. NYU in fact did a great favor not only for Chen but also for both the U.S. and Chinese governments.
The Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng's daring and extraordinary escape to the U.S. embassy in Beijing has captivated the world. At first, it appeared that U.S. diplomats and the Chinese government brokered a deal that satisfied Chen and everyone involved. But now Chen says he wants to leave China, and that he feels unsafe.
Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng is a self-taught lawyer who has been blind since infancy. He’s spent his life advocating for marginalized groups, including women who were forced into sterilization and abortions by the Chinese government. His activism landed him in jail in 2006. He hit the headlines worldwide in 2012, when he escaped from house arrest and took refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
Chinese censors Monday blocked web searches of a host of terms related to blind activist Chen Guangcheng, from his name to "Shawshank Redemption", the prison-break film being compared to his case.Chen fled house arrest in eastern China a week ago with the help of supporters, slipping out under the noses of dozens of guards and into safety at the US embassy in Beijing, dissident Hu Jia and other activists have said.