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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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