News / Asia

Blind Chinese Dissident Settles Into Life in US

Blind activist Chen Guangcheng smiles during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, May 31, 2012. Blind activist Chen Guangcheng smiles during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, May 31, 2012.
x
Blind activist Chen Guangcheng smiles during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, May 31, 2012.
Blind activist Chen Guangcheng smiles during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, May 31, 2012.
VOA News
One month after arriving in the United States, Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng is spending his days being tutored in English and the basics of the U.S. democratic and legal system.

Chen, his wife and two children are living in an apartment in New York's Greenwich Village provided for him by the law school of New York University, which offered him a fellowship before his departure from China. 

After two hours every morning learning English alongside his wife, Yuan Weijing, Chen devotes himself to studying the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the 236-year-old document that announced the American colonies were splitting from Britain.

The 40-year-old blind, self-taught lawyer says he plans to resume his activism by focusing on the rights of the disabled.  Chen says he hopes to eventually return to China, which he believes will someday embrace individual rights and the rule of law.

The arrival of Chen and his family in the U.S. on May 19 ended a diplomatic standoff between Beijing and Washington that began with his escape from brutal house arrest in April, then taking refuge in the U.S. embassy in the Chinese capital.  Chen, who had been under house arrest since 2010, was given a four-year prison sentence in 2006 for exposing abuses under China's forced abortion policy aimed at population control.

He left the embassy after agreeing to a deal reached by U.S. and Chinese authorities that would allow him to stay in a "safe" place in China. But he changed his mind after leaving U.S. protection, saying he did not feel safe and asked to go to the United States.

Since his arrival in the U.S., Chen has openly expressed concerns for the safety of family members in China.  His nephew, Chen Kegui, has been charged with attempted murder following a clash with officials who burst into his home after discovering that his uncle had escaped.

The elder Chen has said the charges against his nephew are "absurd," saying he was protecting himself against a "furious pack of thugs" who "brutally assaulted" his family.  Chen said it is likely that Kegui has been tortured, and complained that his nephew is being forced to accept government-appointed lawyers for his defense.

You May Like

Photogallery Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had earlier warned storm could be one of worst the city has ever faced More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NYC
June 22, 2012 10:48 AM
One day people like Chen Guangcheng and Liu Xiaobo will be remembered as heroes who stood up to & defied the CCP dictatorship. In the modern age, one party states usually don't live past 70 or 80 years. The CCP has been ruling China w/ an iron fist for 60 years so they got about 10-20 years left before the CCP is overthrown or disappears.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid