Chen Guangcheng

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nut-job
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Chen Guangcheng

Post by nut-job » Thu May 03, 2012 1:14 pm

Could anything be more absurd. The human rights activist Chen Guangcheng escapes house arrest, arrives in the US embassy (apparently after a dramatic car chase), and is subsequently turned over to Chinese police by US authorities, saying that he had "changed his mind" after assurances were given that he would be treated well. Chen Guangcheng tells the press that he had no choice but to put himself in the hands of Chinese government, who threatened to beat his wife to death if he remained in the embassy. Now Clinton is on a state visit to China as Chen Guangcheng pleads to be allowed to enter the US with his family. As an American I'm supposed to be proud if this?

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Re: Chen Guangcheng

Post by living_stradivarius » Thu May 03, 2012 1:18 pm

nut-job wrote:Could anything be more absurd. The human rights activist Chen Guangcheng escapes house arrest, arrives in the US embassy (apparently after a dramatic car chase), and is subsequently turned over to Chinese police by US authorities, saying that he had "changed his mind" after assurances were given that he would be treated well. Chen Guangcheng tells the press that he had no choice but to put himself in the hands of Chinese government, who threatened to beat his wife to death if he remained in the embassy. Now Clinton is on a state visit to China as Chen Guangcheng pleads to be allowed to enter the US with his family. As an American I'm supposed to be proud if this?
The State Dept. must be thinking if they take one dissident they must take them all?
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Re: Chen Guangcheng

Post by RebLem » Thu May 03, 2012 2:58 pm

nut-job wrote:Could anything be more absurd. The human rights activist Chen Guangcheng escapes house arrest, arrives in the US embassy (apparently after a dramatic car chase), and is subsequently turned over to Chinese police by US authorities, saying that he had "changed his mind" after assurances were given that he would be treated well. Chen Guangcheng tells the press that he had no choice but to put himself in the hands of Chinese government, who threatened to beat his wife to death if he remained in the embassy. Now Clinton is on a state visit to China as Chen Guangcheng pleads to be allowed to enter the US with his family. As an American I'm supposed to be proud if this?
When he said he wanted to leave the Embassy, what, exactly, should the US ambassador have done? Held him there by force?
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Re: Chen Guangcheng

Post by jbuck919 » Thu May 03, 2012 3:08 pm

nut-job wrote:Could anything be more absurd. The human rights activist Chen Guangcheng escapes house arrest, arrives in the US embassy (apparently after a dramatic car chase), and is subsequently turned over to Chinese police by US authorities, saying that he had "changed his mind" after assurances were given that he would be treated well. Chen Guangcheng tells the press that he had no choice but to put himself in the hands of Chinese government, who threatened to beat his wife to death if he remained in the embassy. Now Clinton is on a state visit to China as Chen Guangcheng pleads to be allowed to enter the US with his family. As an American I'm supposed to be proud if this?
Absolutely. All the shame in this matter is on the Chinese side. The US has acted honorably and competently in a difficult situation where there could have been a serious fumble on the one hand and a capitulation to the temptation to cut corners to curry favor with our, ahem, global associate on the other.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

nut-job
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Re: Chen Guangcheng

Post by nut-job » Thu May 03, 2012 4:45 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
nut-job wrote:Could anything be more absurd. The human rights activist Chen Guangcheng escapes house arrest, arrives in the US embassy (apparently after a dramatic car chase), and is subsequently turned over to Chinese police by US authorities, saying that he had "changed his mind" after assurances were given that he would be treated well. Chen Guangcheng tells the press that he had no choice but to put himself in the hands of Chinese government, who threatened to beat his wife to death if he remained in the embassy. Now Clinton is on a state visit to China as Chen Guangcheng pleads to be allowed to enter the US with his family. As an American I'm supposed to be proud if this?
Absolutely. All the shame in this matter is on the Chinese side. The US has acted honorably and competently in a difficult situation where there could have been a serious fumble on the one hand and a capitulation to the temptation to cut corners to curry favor with our, ahem, global associate on the other.
There may not have been much the US could have done, but when the US Ambassador makes a statement that Chen decided to leave of his own free will after the US negotiated favorable terms, and Chen himself says he was coerced by a threat that his wife would be beaten to death, the competence, if not the honor, of the US is in question, in my mind. Another complication is that even if the US was willing to take Chen, that would leave his wife and family to fend for themselves.

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Re: Chen Guangcheng

Post by RebLem » Fri May 04, 2012 1:11 am

nut-job wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
nut-job wrote:Could anything be more absurd. The human rights activist Chen Guangcheng escapes house arrest, arrives in the US embassy (apparently after a dramatic car chase), and is subsequently turned over to Chinese police by US authorities, saying that he had "changed his mind" after assurances were given that he would be treated well. Chen Guangcheng tells the press that he had no choice but to put himself in the hands of Chinese government, who threatened to beat his wife to death if he remained in the embassy. Now Clinton is on a state visit to China as Chen Guangcheng pleads to be allowed to enter the US with his family. As an American I'm supposed to be proud if this?
Absolutely. All the shame in this matter is on the Chinese side. The US has acted honorably and competently in a difficult situation where there could have been a serious fumble on the one hand and a capitulation to the temptation to cut corners to curry favor with our, ahem, global associate on the other.
There may not have been much the US could have done, but when the US Ambassador makes a statement that Chen decided to leave of his own free will after the US negotiated favorable terms, and Chen himself says he was coerced by a threat that his wife would be beaten to death, the competence, if not the honor, of the US is in question, in my mind. Another complication is that even if the US was willing to take Chen, that would leave his wife and family to fend for themselves.
And what were they supposed to do to keep the wife, who was not in the Embassy, from being beaten? Should the US ambassador have sent the Marine guards at the embassy out to fight the entire Chinese Peoples Army to wend its way to Chen's quarters, rescue the wife, and bring her safely back to the Embassy? How exactly would you want that accomplished? Do you realize there are any limits to American power at all?

Nut job, it likes to me like you are living in some video game Power Rangers universe that has little relationship to the real one.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: Chen Guangcheng

Post by John F » Fri May 04, 2012 1:50 am

This whole story is so confusing and so confused, thanks largely to Chen himself, that we literally don't know what we're talking about. Let's just wait until it plays out and then see what conclusions we can reach.
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Re: Chen Guangcheng

Post by RebLem » Fri May 04, 2012 3:25 am

John F wrote:This whole story is so confusing and so confused, thanks largely to Chen himself, that we literally don't know what we're talking about. Let's just wait until it plays out and then see what conclusions we can reach.
I think that's a good idea. But it does seem clear that Chen's wife was never under the protection of the US government, and with her safety if not his own threatened in a way the US could not do much about, it is difficult to see what other resolution satisfactory to Chen and his family could have been achieved. Meanwhile, we have this:

China says activist 'can apply' to study abroad

By the CNN Wire Staff | May 4, 2012, Updated 0806 GMT (1606 HKT)

Beijing -- China said Friday that the Chinese activist at the center of a diplomatic storm has the right to apply to study abroad after he told U.S. lawmakers that he wants to leave his homeland for the United States.

If Chen Guangcheng wants to go overseas to study, "as a Chinese citizen, he may apply like other Chinese citizens according to the laws and normal procedures of the relevant departments," Liu Weimin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on the ministry's website.

The statement appeared to offer a possible solution to the complex crisis over the future of Chen, which has generated a flurry of negotiations between Chinese and U.S. officials and overshadowed a long-planned visit to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for economic talks.

The Chinese comments came as U.S. diplomats spoke by phone with Chen, who is currently in a Beijing hospital. The officials also met with Chen's wife, Yuan Weijing, in person, according to a senior State Department official.

The U.S. officials had been scheduled to visit Chen as part of the deal worked out between the United States and China under which Chen left the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, where he had taken refuge for six days after escaping from house arrest.

It appears to be the second day in a row that U.S. diplomats have been prevented from meeting with Chen in person.

Chen said earlier Friday that U.S. Embassy officials had told him that Chinese security personnel had stopped them from entering his hospital room on Thursday.

Since leaving the embassy for the hospital Wednesday, Chen has made several pleas to be allowed to leave China.

"China pledged to guarantee my constitutional rights and called me a free man," Chen said, speaking from his hospital room early Friday in Beijing to congressional commission members who listened by speakerphone in Washington, 12 times zones and thousands of miles away.

"I want them to keep their commitment by allowing me to travel abroad to recuperate," Chen said. "I want to go to the United States and rest for a while, since I haven't had a Sunday in seven years."

The 40-year-old blind, self-taught lawyer added that he wants to meet with Clinton "to thank her in person."

But he said he was worried about his relatives in his hometown in the eastern province of Shandong, which he fled last month. He said he has not been able to contact some of them and blamed Chinese officials for his living situation there.

"They have installed seven surveillance cameras in my house," he said. "In addition to have the guards stay in my place, they are building an electric fence around my house. They even scoffed, 'Let's see what this blind guy can do to us.' "

He asked that Congress help him ensure his relatives' legal rights are respected. "This is what concerns me greatly right now," he said.

In a telephone interview with CNN, Chen expressed optimism that U.S. officials would act on his behalf.

"I believe they will help me," he said.

Last month, the activist escaped house arrest in Shandong and made his way to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. But he left it Wednesday for medical treatment in the hospital, where he was reunited with Yuan and their two children.

Before his escape, Chen had been forcibly confined to his home for 18 months after serving four years in prison, apparently over his legal advocacy for what he called victims of abusive practices such as forced abortions and sterilizations by China's family planning officials.

When Chen left the embassy, U.S. officials announced they had worked out a deal with China for his future and that Chen was leaving of his own free will.

The officials said the Chinese government had committed to relocate Chen to a "safe environment" away from the province where he and his family say they had suffered brutal treatment by local authorities. In addition, the officials said, China agreed to investigate those allegations of mistreatment and promised Chen would face no further legal issues.

Under the agreement, Chen was to be granted the opportunity to pursue university studies in the safe location. Gary Locke, U.S. ambassador to China, said one of the proposals "allowed for the possible transfer some day to an American college or university."

But Chen subsequently said he regretted having abandoned the embassy and began making pleas through CNN and other international news organizations to U.S. leaders to get him out of China.

His statements prompted bewildered reactions from U.S. officials who said the decision to leave the embassy was Chen's and that he had repeatedly said he wished to remain in China.

On Friday, Chen mollified his tone compared with the comments he made a day earlier, when he said he was "very disappointed" in the U.S. government because he felt American officials had lobbied for him to leave the embassy and abandoned him at the hospital.

He expressed "deep gratitude" to American officials in Beijing for having treated him "extremely well" during his six-day stay in the embassy.

Jerome Cohen, an American law professor and friend of Chen, offered an explanation for Chen's statements after he left the embassy.

"Everything changed when he got to the hospital," said Cohen, who advised Chen by phone while he was inside the embassy. "All of a sudden, the people who had worked so hard to secure his future from our embassy and our state department, they were tired as can be and they went home to sleep." [You know, if we remember that diplomats are, despite popular prejudices to the contrary, human beings with human needs, it is a bit easier to understand many of these things. RebLem]

Some of Chen's fellow Chinese human rights activists spoke with him about his plan to remain in China, Cohen told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

"They said: 'This is zany. Don't do this. You're just totally unrealistic, it will never work,' " Cohen said.

Chen is "in a very fragile emotional state," Cohen said. "You have to understand the enormous pressures in which he's been living and recently operating. And it got to be too much."

The United States is now working out what Chen wants and how it might be able to assist him.

Once a clear understanding of his desires emerge, "we will do what we can to help him achieve that," the senior U.S. State Department official said Thursday.

A senior Obama administration official said that "there are ongoing discussions happening in Beijing," but declined to comment further.

Cohen said he was hopeful a deal could be reached to get Chen out of China.

"They're practical people," he said, referring to China's leaders. "They're going to want to get rid of him and his family in the most humane appearance possible."

Human rights advocacy groups meanwhile have questioned whether Beijing will stick to its promises about Chen's future if he stays in the country, noting that several of his friends and family members have been detained or are unaccounted for.

Chen's case has touched a nerve in China, where CNN International's broadcast has been blocked in recent days during the network's stories about him.

Comments from Chinese officials reported by state media have criticized what they call "interference" by Washington.

"This is totally unacceptable to China," Liu, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said in comments reported Wednesday by Xinhua, the state-run news agency. He demanded an apology from the United States.

Nevertheless, senior officials from the two countries -- including Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner -- met Thursday and Friday in Beijing for scheduled talks about strategic and economic issues.

In a speech Thursday, Clinton referred to human rights without mentioning Chen.

"As part of our dialogue, the United States raises the importance of human rights and fundamental freedoms because we believe that all governments do have to answer to citizens' aspirations for dignity and the rule of law and that no nation can or should deny those rights," she said.

On the Chinese side, President Hu Jintao said Washington and Beijing "should approach our differences in a correct way, and respect and accommodate each other's interests and concerns."

CNN's Jill Dougherty, Jaime FlorCruz, Steven Jiang, Dan Lothian, Eunice Yoon, Jethro Mullen and Stan Grant contributed to this report.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/04/world ... ?hpt=hp_t1
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Re: Chen Guangcheng

Post by John F » Fri May 04, 2012 4:51 am

RebLem wrote:it does seem clear that Chen's wife was never under the protection of the US government, and with her safety if not his own threatened...
Of course the US government doesn't protect foreigners in their own country who haven't asked for protection. But I wouldn't be so sure that her safety actually was threatened - We've only Chen's word for it, and every day he keeps coming up with something new.
John Francis

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Re: Chen Guangcheng

Post by Agnes Selby » Fri May 04, 2012 7:37 am

You probhably don't know that Stan Grant is Australian
with Aboriginal heritage. He is an outstanding journalist.
I am sorry we lost him to CNN.

nut-job
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Re: Chen Guangcheng

Post by nut-job » Fri May 04, 2012 8:41 am

RebLem wrote:And what were they supposed to do to keep the wife, who was not in the Embassy, from being beaten? Should the US ambassador have sent the Marine guards at the embassy out to fight the entire Chinese Peoples Army to wend its way to Chen's quarters, rescue the wife, and bring her safely back to the Embassy? How exactly would you want that accomplished? Do you realize there are any limits to American power at all?

Nut job, it likes to me like you are living in some video game Power Rangers universe that has little relationship to the real one.
According to the NY Times, one issue is that the US rushed the negotiations to be complete before the summit meeting, and turned Chen over to the Chinese authorities without obtaining specific assurances, such as an assurance that US officials would be able to meet with Chen in the hospital. As a result Chen is saying he wants to meet with US officials and they are denied access. With Chen in the US embassy, US diplomats were his liaison to the Chinese government, and I do not have the impression that they were at all skillful in representing him in negotiations.

On the other hand, how is the US to hector China on treatment of prisoners? The US was willing to deny Jose Padilla some of the same basic legal rights and protections that are being denied Chen.

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