NEW YORK CITY —
Blind Chinese exiled dissident Chen Guangcheng is taking U.S. President Barack Obama to task in a new book that also praises former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her role in his escape from China.
In an exclusive interview with the VOA Mandarin service, the activist lawyer accused Obama of trying to force him from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing where he had sought refuge.
“Obama held a meeting with all his staff members and made another decision. Some staff even said it is not good for the American national benefit if China becomes democratized,” he said.
He made similar claims in his new book The Barefoot Lawyer, in which he accuses the White House of being weak on the issue of human rights and of worrying that Chen’s case could harm relations with China.
VOA asked the White House for a comment and has received no response.
As much as Chen is criticizing President Obama, he is lavishing praise on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her role in his ordeal.
“Generally I appreciate Hillary very much. After all in that harsh moment, she got me into the U.S. Embassy in emergency time. This is the most significant point. It is she who insisted on the American human rights principle,” he said.
In her book Hard Choices, Clinton said she made the final decision to admit Chen into the embassy in 2012 after he had escaped from house arrest and fled to Beijing.
Chen first gained international recognition as a defender of rural Chinese women who went through forced sterilizations or forced late-term abortions.
He made international headlines in 2012 when he made a dramatic escaped from house arrest in eastern Shandong province and made his way to the U.S. embassy in Beijing.