News / Asia

China Criticizes US Role in Dissident Case

In this photo released by the U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office, blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng is wheeled into a hospital by U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, right, and an unidentified official at left, in Beijing, May 2, 2012. In this photo released by the U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office, blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng is wheeled into a hospital by U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, right, and an unidentified official at left, in Beijing, May 2, 2012.
x
In this photo released by the U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office, blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng is wheeled into a hospital by U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, right, and an unidentified official at left, in Beijing, May 2, 2012.
In this photo released by the U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office, blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng is wheeled into a hospital by U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, right, and an unidentified official at left, in Beijing, May 2, 2012.
Stephanie Ho
Chinese newspapers are stepping up their criticism of dissident Chen Guangcheng, who fled to Beijing last month, and the United States, which harbored him for six days in the embassy.  

Although Chen Guangcheng's saga dominated international media coverage of last week's high-profile talks between Washington and Beijing, the story has been largely ignored by Chinese news media and censored on Chinese blogs and social media.

The few editorials in state-backed newspapers addressing the issue have largely focused on criticism from China's Foreign Ministry about Washington's role in the affair.

On Monday, an opinion piece in the English language version of the Global Times newspaper accuses the United States of using Chen as a pawn in what it describes as a “plot against China".  An opinion piece in the China Daily accuses the United States of violating international law in bringing Chen into the embassy at all.

Chinese officials said Friday Chen is free to apply to travel overseas, but Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei focused Monday on repeating China's displeasure with the United States.

He accuses the United States of interfering in China's internal affairs. He also urges the American side to draw a lesson from the incident and take what he calls “concrete actions to maintain the overall interests of U.S.-China relations.”

At the same time, he did not repeat Beijing's calls for Washington to apologize.

U.S. officials have already called the incident “extraordinary” and say they do not expect it will be repeated.

Chen is an activist who was jailed for four years for speaking out against sterilizations and abortions forced on residents by family planning officials. After he was freed from prison in 2010, he was kept under heavy surveillance, and reportedly even beaten, at his home in Shandong.

Monday's Global Times opinion piece says the blind legal activist's imprisonment a few years ago was not because of his work helping disadvantaged people, but because of a local conflict over water rights.

The report says Chen clashed with his neighbors because he dug a well that sucked water out from their wells. Numerous attempts to reach Chen Monday were unsuccessful.

Chen made a dramatic escape from house arrest last month and re-materialized at the U.S. embassy in Beijing. He is still receiving treatment from injuries sustained during his escape at a Beijing hospital.

Friend and fellow dissident He Peirong told Reuters in a Skype interview Monday that Chen planned the escape from his heavily-guarded house arrest all by himself.

She says he sometimes took rest in a pig sty or in a crop field and that he jumped over many walls.

She says she received an email from a Chen family member after he had left and then later helped drive him to Beijing after he had escaped from his village.

New York University law professor Jerome Cohen says he hopes reports that Chinese officials have met with Chen in recent days is a good sign. “We hope that the signal given on Friday by the Foreign Ministry will now be followed through on and will lead to his expeditious departure and arrival in this country,” he said.

Cohen, who helped advise Chen before the activist decided to leave the U.S. embassy last week, says he hopes Chinese officials also are discussing the circumstances of Chen's return to China. New York University has offered Chen a fellowship.

Chen says he hopes Beijing will let him and his family travel to the United States without fresh troubles, but adds he is not sure how long it will take for him to make his travel arrangements. Vice President Joe Biden says the United States is prepared to give Chen a visa “right away.”

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid