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May 19, 2012

​​Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng Arrives in US

by Jeff Swicord

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who has fought against China's one child and forced abortion policy, has finally arrived in the United States.  From New Jersey's Newark International Airport Saturday evening, he was taken to the campus of New York University in Manhattan where he will work and live. 

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng used crutches to help him walk on the foot he injured while escaping house arrest in China.  With his wife and an American friend by his side, he was greeted with cheers at the Greenwich Village apartment complex in Manhattan where he will live.

“For the past seven years I have never had a day of rest,” he told the gathered media," said Chen.  "So I have come here in for recuperation in body and spirit.”

Chen spent seven years in a Chinese prison for his human rights activism.  Then, after enduring house arrest, he made a daring escape from his small village and was given sanctuary inside the U.S. Embassy.  His arrival in the U.S. ended a nearly month-long diplomatic dispute that has strained U.S. - Chinese relations.

“We should link our arms in the fight for the goodness in the world and to fight against injustice,” he said.

As he walked away from the microphones, a woman yelled out support for the activist.  Also in the crowd was Chai Ling, with the organization All Girls Allowed, which fights against forced abortions.

“It is such a beautiful victory for all those people fighting for justice in China.  It is a symbol of hope and victory.  It is God who has delivered him to freedom,” said Chai Ling.

Chen will be a visiting scholar at New York University.  He has said he would like to return to China some day, if the Chinese government will allow him.