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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid