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 Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid