The Chen Guangcheng problem


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in the Chinese capital for annual strategic talks. But the US embassy in Beijing is at the centre of a crisis - blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng is believed to be sheltering inside after his dramatic escape from house arrest.

Mr Chen has become a symbol of human rights abuses in China - so can the two sides prevent this issue derailing talks and ties? Here's my report on the issue:

Both the US and China are keeping quiet on Chen Guangcheng

Damian Grammaticas Article written by Damian Grammaticas Damian Grammaticas China correspondent

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  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    To Sean:
    You are too sharp on that matter. You know, the lawyers ususally don't work for their clients in China. They work for the state. They are the ones who will stab you in the back.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Mr. Obama has lost the votes of any American who truly believes in the spread of human rights. It is a sad day when America hands a blind man over for an almost certain life in prison and fear simply because he had the courage to speak without calling for violence or revolution.
    The President's reactions to democratic uprisings in the middle-east and political prisoners in the far-east say more about his ideals and values than any campaign slogan.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    "A close friend of Mr Chen, Zeng Jinyan ... said ... He said, 'please help me'."

    "AP quoted Mr Chen as appealing to the US to "help my family and me leave [China] safely"."

    "Mr Chen's lawyer, Li Jinsong, ... said "Mr Chen was "very happy and wants to hug all his friends ... he now had "true freedom", his rights were now protected by the national law and he was "a free citizen""
    Is Mr Chen's lawyer working for Mr Chen?

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Free law school anywhere in China is never as a good of a deal as living in America penniless but famous for being a talking head for free China.

    Go Chen go and don't ever return or go back.

    You cannot go to Canada unless you learn to speak English and French.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    @myhammers So if the local police beats up your family, that's OK because the US killed native americans 200 years ago right? And if China kills Tibetans, that's OK because Germany executed millions of Jews 70 years ago? What is this some catch-up-on-atrocities game? What astoundingly poor logic. I sincerely hope you don't work in government or economics.

    And for the record, Mr. Chen went to the US embassy, not the Canadian or Danish or Mexican embassy. I suppose the nationalists think this blind man was under the evil influence of foreign interference.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    What about America's human rights record? To most right-thinking people, stealing an entire country and committing genocide against the indigenous people is worse than mistreating an individual person. The usual staggering hypocrisy, once again!

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Right...I'm sure Chen's wife beat herself up and broke her own left orbital bone. Perfectly normal behavior for a citizen so happy with such a fair and benevolent government that always obeys its own laws. And of course no one in China has the facts, they're trying to delete any mention of him on weibo.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Maybe if the secret police wasn't busy beating up on journalists, celebrities or anyone else attempting to visit him, we might have had more "facts". I welcome anyone here (if you're physically in Beijing, breaking firewall rules no doubt) to viit him and report back to us your findings.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    I don't believe we have the facts. What we have is feel-good, feel-powerful American propaganda story that has resulted in ALLEGEDLY all Chinese Provinces requesting a US embassy within their confines - so badly do all the dissidents within China want US intervention & assistance.
    Give me a break!.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Saw an interesting comment. Chen's words of " i want to kiss you" for Mrs Clinton prove that he is indeed blind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    What exactly was Chen Guangcheng guilty of to warrant such a long extra-judicial house arrest?

    What was Chen Guangcheng's daughter guilty of that made the authorities deny her an education?

    What was Chen Guangcheng's family and friends guilty of that gave the authorities the right to harass, berate and arbitrarily detain them?

    This man fought against forced sterilisations and forced late-term abortions, ese are crimes against humanity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    "Some charitable environmental groups in Canada are "laundering" funds from offshore donors to obstruct Canada's environmental assessment process, Environment Minister Peter Kent says."

    It is possible Chen is getting some offshore donor money that was to go to buy US missiles for Taiwan and not meant for him to carry on with his activist ways in China or for his escape to the USA.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Every country has its own law and constitution , we should respect it . The US always declare there wasn't human rights in China , attacking China's constitution ,have you ever thought about yours? Virtually ,it's als just a powerful voice. What I want to say is not to judge others before you can .



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