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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora