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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid