News

Chinese Dissident Leaves US Embassy After Six Days

Chinese activist activist Chen Guangcheng (L) is seen in a wheelchair pushed by a nurse at Chaoyang hospital in Beijing, May 2, 2012.
Chinese activist activist Chen Guangcheng (L) is seen in a wheelchair pushed by a nurse at Chaoyang hospital in Beijing, May 2, 2012.

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has left the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, days after he stunned the world by escaping from house arrest and taking refuge with U.S. diplomats. China is demanding an apology from the United States over the incident.

Neither the U.S. nor Chinese governments would confirm that blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng was in the embassy last week, but both sides confirmed Wednesday that he had left.

A U.S. official said Chen had arrived at a medical facility in Beijing and would be reunited with his family. The official said Chen is being allowed to remain in China, in what he described as a 'safe' place. He added that the activist made no request for political asylum in the United States.

China's Xinhua news agency said only that Chen had left the U.S. embassy “of his own volition” after staying there for six days. Neither report said where Chen is headed next.

Chen’s situation has threatened to overshadow annual high level U.S.-China talks set to start Thursday in the Chinese capital, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Xinhua quoted China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin as expressing strong dissatisfaction at the U.S. Embassy for taking in a Chinese citizen in what he described as an “irregular manner.”

The statement accuses the U.S. of interfering in Chinese domestic affairs. It demands an apology from the United States, an investigation into the incident, punishment for those responsible and assurances that it will not happen again.

Hong Kong based human rights researcher Joshua Rosenzweig calls China's demands for an apology “bluster,” and says he believes Beijing is acting this way for the benefit of the domestic audience.

“If the Chinese complaint is around the failure to operate according to proper procedures, the Chinese government started this a long time ago by not following proper procedures in the treatment of Chen Guangcheng and his family. I don't think the Chinese have much ground on which to stand,” Rosenzweig says.

Chen is a 40-year-old self-taught lawyer who spent four years in prison after exposing forced abortions and sterilizations by Chinese family planning authorities. He has been confined to his house in Shandong province since he was released from jail in September 2010.

Bob Fu, with U.S.-based human rights organization ChinaAid, says local thugs have beaten Chen and his family, which he thinks should have been more than enough reason for them to want to leave the country.

“If he feels he can continue to trust the government promise or commitment for his safety out of this event, he may choose to stay," he says. "But I just feel it's a huge gamble.”

Chen stunned the world when he fled from his tightly guarded house arrest in late April and sought refuge at the U.S. embassy in Beijing. Chinese authorities had detained several people who allegedly helped him escape as well as some of Chen's family members.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Joe Green
May 02, 2012 8:48 AM
The chief of Hamas in the Gaza Strip made a very profound statement recently when he predicted the fall of the United States and the rise of China and India as superpowers in our world.

by: nasdaq
May 02, 2012 8:24 AM
we chinese can get access to this web page. Any non-chinese-language webpage is commonly accessible on the internet.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs