May 2 2012
Did U.S. Abandon Chen?
Let’s hope that reports that the U.S. abandoned blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who apparently showed up at the U.S. Embassy after escaping from illegal house arrest, turn out to be false.
But it doesn’t look good:
As LifeNews has reported, media reports from AP and elsewhere indicate China and the United States agreed to a deal that allows Chen to receive a medical checkup and be reunited with his family at the hospital. He would then be relocated to a safe place in China where he could study at a university.
However, those initial reports turned out to the misleading, as new information surfaced showing Chen was reportedly pressured to leave the U.S. Embassy and accept the deal the United States struck with China to release Chen from its temporary protection. Now, Chen reportedly wants to leave China with his family, as he is worried about their safety.
Bob Fu, the president of ChinaAid, a U.S.-based human rights group that has worked closely with Chen and his Chinese supporters, says it has viewed relevant information released by the Chinese government regarding Chen’s release and says it was coerced. He and others have pointed out that Chinese officials have threatened Chen’s family and made suggestion it would kill his wife if Chen did not leave the U.S. Embassy.
Now, Fu tells LifeNews that Zeng Jinyan, wife of Chen’s best friend Hu Jia, posted a tweet which indicates that the media failed to report the correct information about Chen. he says sources inside China said the U.S. and Chinese governments have reached some kind of “shameful” agreement regarding Chen.
We’re in hock to China and Chen’s escape came at an inopportune time (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner were preparing to talk about money with Chinese officials). But, if it turns out to be true that the U.S. sold out Chen, there is still no excuse.
While the president does victory laps about having gotten Osama bin Laden, we must also remember that this is the White House that shamefully walked the Dalai Lama out by the trash exit and that refused to give a ringing endorsement of Iranian dissidents when it just might have meant something.
Human rights can’t be the only matter in international affairs—sometimes we have to deal with scum. Sometimes our leaders make epic mistakes. But for the U.S. to turn its back on Chen, if this really happened, is shameful. Why does this White House instinctively bow to the thugs?
Ed Morrissey writes:
It doesn’t sound as though Chen feels particularly “free” at the moment. Did the Obama administration sell out Chen to the Beijing government? If so, that sends a chilling message to democracy activists and dissidents around the world about American commitment to freedom, and Obama’s own insistence that he would be on the side of freedom-loving activists.
“Disgraceful beyond words,” writes Alana Goodman.
This kind of behavior is getting to be a habit. The Free Beacon reported earlier this week that the office of the vice president overruled a State Department decision to grant asylum to another Chinese defector. He was turned away after 30 hours in the U.S. consulate. Not surprisingly, he has not been seen since.