What Support Will Obama Offer Chinese Pro Life Activist?


Pro Life Activist Escapes

A blind Chinese pro life activist is under the protection of US officials following his dramatic escape from house arrest in a small village in rural China. An overseas activist group has reported that talks are taking place ‘at the highest level’ to decide on the fate of the man.

Fugitive Fled To US Protection

There are unconfirmed reports that the fugitive, known as Chen Guangcheng, fled into the protection of US Embassy in Beijing. If this is the case the incident has occurred at a significant juncture with the US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, poised to arrive in the country with a team of top US officials for some key discussions in the Economic and Strategic Dialogue.

High Level Talks Underway

A statement released by ChinaAid stated, “Chen is under U.S. protection and high-level talks are currently under way between U.S. and Chinese officials regarding Chen’s status.” They quoted a source that was close to the situation as the basis of the report.

Texan Company Involved

It is believed that Chen had escaped to Beijing from the Shandong province in Eastern China. The Texas-based company, ChinaAid and in particular the founder Bob Fu, have been heavily involved in promoting the case, and have relayed the information about the case as it has become available.

No Official Information

As is generally the case in situations like this within China there has been precious little information forthcoming from any official source. There has been no official line from Chinese government sources and the US administration has been similarly tight lipped on the issue. As of Saturday the US Embassy in Beijing declined to comment as did the officials in Washington.

Self Taught Lawyer Fighting The State

The case of Chen is a fascinating one, and he has led the pro life campaign in China, in the most extreme circumstances, surviving the regime there, despite all the odds being stacked against him. Having been blinded in infancy by a fever, Chen became a self taught lawyer in adulthood, and undertook the fight against barbaric practices which are commonplace throughout China.

Exposing Barbaric Practices

The Chinese government, unhappy with his defiance, jailed him for 4 years, for exposing sterilizations and abortions in his own village and surrounding locations. Following his release in 2010 he has been persecuted for his continued fight against the intolerable and inhumane practices. Despite a complete lack of precedent he has been confined to his home and on several times during that period he has suffered extreme physical abuse at the hands of officials.

Support From Across US

His stance has drawn the admiration of many in the US among the pro life community and beyond. The campaign to raise awareness of his case has been growing apace and much support has been given to the people of China in a call to action on the ground. The main impetus of this campaign has been to get people to visit Dongshigu village, where Chen was being held, and help to break the security cordon which kept him confined within his home. As part of the publicity campaign Hollywood star, Christian Bale attempted to visit Chen during his incarceration, but he was met with the same rebuff as all of the others who attempted the visit

Some Statements On The Case

Cui Tiankai, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, could not elaborate on the issue when asked to outline the case. His response to questions was as reticent as could be anticipated. He said, “Your question does not come within the scope of today’s briefing. So I have no information to give you.”

Bob Fu of ChinaAid has declared Chen’s case a benchmark for the US human rights global stance. He said in a statement on the case, “because of Chen’s wide popularity, the Obama administration must stand firmly with him or risk losing credibility as a defender of freedom and the rule of law.” Underlining the significance on the position of the Chinese government he added “If there is a reason why Chinese dissidents revere the U.S., it is for a moment like this.”

Human Rights Groups Call for Safety

There have been widespread appeals for Chen’s safety from the global community over the past two years. There is no doubt that without the international attention there would be some question as to whether Chen would have survived the recent attention of the Chinese government. The case continues.

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Yolanda Leigh is an amateur interior designer and professional writer whose work often sees her writing on behalf of the Lane furniture company. However, her personal interests lie in ethical issues and current affairs, especially with regards to human rights issues and fair trading.

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