News

US Looking to Meet Again With Chinese Dissident Chen

In this photo released by the US Embassy Beijing Press Office, blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng makes a phone call as he is accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke in a car on the way to a hospital in Beijing, May 2, 2012.
In this photo released by the US Embassy Beijing Press Office, blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng makes a phone call as he is accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke in a car on the way to a hospital in Beijing, May 2, 2012.

U.S. officials say they are trying to meet again with Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who left the U.S. embassy in Beijing Wednesday and is now requesting a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Confusion over Chen's case comes as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in China for security and economic talks.

Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner says U.S. officials spoke with Chen twice on the telephone Thursday and met in person with his wife but are still seeking another face-to-face meeting with the blind activist.

"Again, I don't have any further information except that it's our desire to meet with him in the days going forward," said Toner.

A senior State Department official says there are "some indications" that U.S. officials will be able to see Chen on Friday.

Chen left the U.S. embassy Wednesday with a deal allowing for the relocation of his family and his ability to study law at a university in China.  But that began to unravel within hours.

Chen told foreign journalists in phone conversations that he now wants asylum in the United States for himself and his family because he no longer believes his rights and safety can be assured in China.

Toner says it is unclear why Chen has had this change of heart.

"I can just say that we are engaged with him going forward and trying to work out where he is in his own mind," he said.

Chen, who is self-taught in law, spent four years in prison after exposing forced abortions and sterilizations by Chinese family planning authorities.  He'd been confined to his home following his release from jail in September 2010.

The drama of his escape from house arrest, his secret arrival at the U.S. embassy, and the deal allowing for his departure on top of this new request for asylum has overshadowed talks between Chinese and U.S. officials including Secretary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Toner says it shows the strength of relations between the United States and China to be able to deal with what he calls "these very difficult issues over the last few days" while maintaining focus on global concerns including Syria, Sudan, North Korea, and Iran.

"We have a relationship with China that is extremely broad, extremely cross-cutting," he said. "The secretary and the president have all said how important this relationship is strategically whether it be Iran, whether it be working on other issues of vital importance in the international arena.  And we are going to continue to pursue those."

As the strategic and economic dialogue moves forward, Toner says the United States will not shy away from raising human rights issues in China.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: sblazer
May 04, 2012 7:48 PM
I agree! If the U.S. sacrificed him, I'm embarrassed!! The U.S. is supposed to be the safe haven for the politically oppressed!

by: Paulo
May 03, 2012 3:44 PM
I hope and pray that the Obama Administration did not sacrifice this freedom loving man and his family for a gesture for the Communist Chinese. Like Hilliary Clinton well stated, economics is more important that human rights and freedom. Obama will loose my vote in November if it comes to show that he lied again to the world.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs