Was U.S. Duped by China on Dissident Deal?


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A deal negotiated by US and Chinese officials regarding the fate of human rights activist Chen Guangcheng appeared to be unraveling Wednesday night as friends of the dissident claim he was coerced into leaving the US embassy where he had sought refuge for six days after escaping from house arrest nearly two weeks ago. It appears that in the interest of removing a bone of contention between the two countries in advance of bi-lateral talks that start on Thursday, the US may have hastily negotiated an agreement that the Chinese might have no intention of honoring, thus putting the human rights activist’s life — and that of his family — in danger.

The deal would have seen Chen released to a local hospital for treatment of his leg, injured in his daring escape from house arrest. The Chinese would have then allowed him to reunite with his family and move to a university town where he could continue his legal studies. The Chinese also promised that he would face no more legal issues and that the oppressive authorities in his hometown would be punished for their extra-legal detention of the activist.

From his hospital bed, Chen reached out to several news services, saying he had changed his mind and now wanted to leave China, a request he did not make while sheltered by the embassy because he was unaware that he and his family were in danger. He also claimed that an American official had told him that he had been advised by a Chinese government official that if he didn’t leave the embassy, they would beat his wife to death. The State Department strongly denies that charge, saying no American official told Mr. Chen anything except that if he didn’t leave the embassy, his wife would be sent home from Beijing.

The confusion surrounding the deal has the potential to upend the economic and security talks between the two countries that begin on Thursday. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are in Beijing for bi-lateral talks that will touch on security issues like Iran and North Korea as well as economic matters like China’s currency policies and its huge trade surplus with the US.

Shortly after Chen’s release, the Chinese foreign ministry issued a blistering statement, demanding that the US apologize for sheltering Chen and for interfering in the internal affairs of China. And American officials who were staying with Chen at the hospital were ordered to leave, replaced by a cordon of plainclothes policemen who limited access to the activist. It is unclear whether the Chinese will follow through and live up to their end of the bargain, which has caused Chen to change his mind about staying in China and is now pleading with US officials to secure his passage to America for himself and his family.

Chen, who fought government officials in his rural province for years over their forced abortion policy and other outrages, told the Associated Press that he fears for his family’s safety. His lawyer, Teng Biao, told the Washington Post, “He felt his safety is threatened. He feels pressure now,” Teng said. “In fact, from his language, I can tell that the decision to leave the embassy was not 100 percent his idea,” he added.

In an emailed statement to the New York Times, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland denied the claim that Chen was coerced into leaving the embassy:

At no time did any U.S. official speak to Chen about physical or legal threats to his wife and children, nor did Chinese officials make any such threats to us. U.S. interlocutors did make clear that if Chen elected to stay in the embassy, Chinese officials had indicated to us that his family would be returned to Shandong, and they would lose their opportunity to negotiate for reunification.

Chen told Reuters that the reason he changed his mind about staying in China was because, once in the hospital, he was able to speak to his wife, who told him of his family being menaced by authorities. “When I was inside the American embassy, I didn’t have my family, and so I didn’t understand some things. After I was able to meet them, my ideas changed.” He also made a personal appeal in a CNN interview to President Obama to help him escape China with his family because he feared for his life after learning that his wife had been bound and beaten following his escape:

She was tied to a chair by police for two days. Then they carried thick sticks to our house, threatening to beat her to death. Now they have moved into the house. They eat at our table and use our stuff. Our house is teeming with security — on the roof and in the yard. They installed seven surveillance cameras inside the house and built electric fences around the yard.

The fact that the Chen incident threatened to overshadow the bi-lateral talks with China and that the US was desperate to make a deal in order to remove Chen as an irritant prior to the meetings gives credence to the dissident’s charges of coercion — despite the denials by US officials. But it is clear that Chen changed the parameters of the deal himself when he performed an about-face and indicated he wanted US help to leave the country. This was not part of the original bargain and his request has American diplomats scrambling to explain their actions, as well as control the political damage that has exploded back in America.

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  • Jacobite

    When I was a kid, we read stories about Cardinal Mindzenty, living in the US Embassy in Hungary(?) for years. Chen must be pretty slow to expect any help from Democrats against the Chi-Coms. Not only is O'bwana a personal coward, but he and his administration day-dream every day about running the US the way the Chi-Coms run their country. And granting asylum to some guy protesting abortion? Gimme a freakin' break, man!

  • Alvaro

    This incident was a disgusting bow to totalitarianism. Does anyone in their right mind think this man will have anything similar to a decent life in China after this?

    China is totalitarian, with all the disgusting traits of communism. They are extremely hostile towards the West, and perform cyber attacks towards every major Western company. Why knows what geopolitical ambitions they will have once they have the strongest economy and the largest army on the planet.

    Do noy buy goods from China. Do not move jobs to China.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    What do you expect from a man who bows to saudi sheiks and kills the oil pipeline from Canada to Texas?

  • crackerjack

    Why should the US get involved in China's one-kid policy? Is it also prepared to slam birth control in poverty stricken areas of Africa, the Middeast or Asia? Does it support a higher birth rate in Palestine? And will the US then be prepared to feed a hundred million more hungry mouths? Presumabyl those now howling against China's population control will be the first to oppose their tax money going to support the results of their action. Hypocrites and opp

    China has just pulled a middle class of over 300 million out of poverty, while the US during the same period has reduced at least a third of its middle class to poverty. China needs no lecture from the US and certainly not from lunatic evangelist figures like Bob Fu who seems to be forgetting the dismal role of Christianity in the colonization and exploitation of the Chinese people.

    And by the way….. How would Republicans deal with this situation? Check it out, hypoctites and fools…………
    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/r

    • PeterP

      Crackerjack, everything you write is false or a distortion.
      1)There is no such country as Palestine.
      2) China's prosperity has grown because of unfair trade with the West, including currency manipulation and industrial theft.
      3) And I have no idea of what colonization or exploitation by Christians you're talking about. You're full of it.

    • ajnn

      forced abortion includes killing children who have already been born. you are supporting not 'pure abortion' of fetuses but killing babies in the hospital delivery room.

      this is very ugly.

    • Ghostwriter

      crackerjack,you're an unbelievable idiot! The State Department bungled this and now Chen and his family are in danger of being executed! Not only that,China has one of the worst human right records on the planet! I'm awestruck at your immense stupidity.

  • Tiberius

    @crackerjack- I believe your buddies President Clinton and VP Al gore were criticizing President George H. Bush when they were the Democratic candidates back in 1991 and then when they were elected they did an about face and started to open trade with China. Talk about hypocracy! Also your idol democrat senator Feinstein’s husband has huge dealings with Chinese interest and yet she can condone a republican administration for not doing enough about human rights especially in China. This clearly shows your bias cracked jack!

    • crackerjack

      With what authority can the US confront China concerning human rights and the rule of law. The US runs a prison camp in Guantanamo outside any form of jusisdiction, where they also hold Urigurian rebels who oppose Chinese domination of their country. The US has reserved itself the right to execute anyone at any place on the globe without court, judge, jury, only overlooked and supervisedby a secret panel. The US invaded and occupied Iraq against international law, based on missinformation and lies, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the dissplacement of millions.

      Shouldn't the US be cleaning up its own cesspool before pointing fingers?

      • peterp

        Crackerjack, you're saying that Al Qaeda terrorists should be treated as common criminals and given a civilian trial? Are you also saying that a country needs to be perfect before they can criticize China's appalling and ongoing violations of individual rights of it's own citizens?

      • ajnn

        'international law'. you can argue the ethics & morality of iraq, but this talk of 'international law' is nonsense.

        actual international law supports the legality of the iraq invasion. iraq committed many acts of war against the us (assasssination attempts inside the us, violation of ther 1991 ceasefire agreements, etc).

      • kongMing

        US interferes with China? China floods the US with counterfeit merchandise and routinely scans our infrastructure to plan cyber attacks. They hack into our systems and steal nuclear secrets. Foreign investors will go to China and build a plant only for Chinese generals to steal it out from under them.

        China the more moral society? Unnecessary repeated open heart surgeries are mandated by their tyrant government to increase experience of their surgeons. Surgeries, like removing calf muscles are performed to quiet labor activists. They prop up North Korea whose doctors amputate without anesthesia.

      • Fred Dawes

        people don't like you for seeing facts, the so called USA Is a total joke and people inside the cesspool think of it as a great big lake clean and all normal in the world of monkeys, but when others look at it who are not monkey butts its as black as night and it smells like monkey butt.

  • Schlomotion

    Did Joe Lieberman look at the new dazzling police powers in China and ponder the effectiveness of suspending the Third Amendment by quartering state guards in the homes of people under house arrest? After all, the security of the United States is paramount.
    http://www.freedomworks.org/blog/ahamadeh/joe-lie

  • StephenD

    So, we have Hillary praising the "agreement" Chen has reached with the Chinese. Of course, the US officially is out of the picture now except to perhaps apologize to China as demanded. Obama sticking his neck out for a guy against abortion is a stretch since he was all for letting those born live during abortion to be put on shelves until they do die. These are the facts. The Agreement between China and the US may have carried some weight (all be it limited in with whom they negotiate), certainly a lot more than an agreement between a single someone who has embarrassed them. Cameras IN the house?!? Security at their TABLE?!? A REAL POTUS would immediately stop all trade negotiations and any other business between us until this is resolved. I agree we shouldn't interfere in the internal dealings of a sovereign country UNTIL…the person in question enters OUR sovereign land (US EMBASSY).
    I wonder if they will really make Obama apologize for making them wait all of 6 days to get what they wanted. Do you think he will react strongly? I do. I suspect he may move the MAO CHRITSMAS TREE ORNAMENT to the back of the tree this year…that'll show them!

  • mrbean

    Look who is running US foreign policy, Obama the clandestine Muslim Marxist racist as Presiudent who has never done anything and Hillary Clinton, a post menopausal closet communist hag as Secretary of State who has failed at everything she has ever attempted all her life. I expected this.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Isn't it interesting that the present problem with negotiations comes up during negotiations with
    China almost every time there is media attention and for what purose. Everyone will be looking
    at what is going on with a supposed dissident and not looking at the negotiations. Who is reporting
    on what is happening between China and the Obama regime, what propaganda covers the truth
    behind the scenes and under the table sellout of America. Chen is a dodge, wake up to the
    fact nothing is as it seems in our dealings, negotiations is not going there with a begging bowl.
    Clinton the Maoist in charge, good grief…………..what hypocrisy, millions of people being
    murdered daily around the world and in America and we are supposed to think government
    cares one damn bit, just a bid to obfuscate and deceive all people………………William

  • Bertram Cabot Jr.

    Could we trade Tom Friedman for Chen?

    • Mad Monkey

      Give them Obama for Chen. We win twice that way! :)

      Obama wins because he will be living among Communists. He is down with the struggle.

  • Fred Dawes

    Obama order him to be handed over to the Reds, My question is why did he look for help from this country when others would have helped him? was he looking for a great deal on a 7-11? and yes this country or obama-nation is totally pretense. but it is a nation of monkeys.

  • kasandra

    Does the name Simas Kudirka ring a bell? Carter/Obama. Old wine in different bottles.

    • kasandra

      Well, except for the fact that one was an incompetent naive goofball and the other is a rigid leftwing ideologue.

  • Jimi Belton

    We have the worst bunch of apogolists the USA has ever seen, in 0samb0, clintax, holder, They will sell the USA out as the great deceiver, [willy clinton] did….we are doomed as a nation, unless we turn back to the Righteousness of G0d, and seek His Face….

  • Pyeatte

    This administration just sold out to the Chinese thugs again. What a bunch of empty suits.

  • Fred Dawes

    See Alex Jones on the real reason the one child policy is part of the collapse/dark and pitiless globalists insane ideals by insane people, Obama and china are just one part We will see more.

  • Mary

    "Chen Guangcheng seeks exile in the United States, fears revenge on his family"
    by Wang Zhicheng – May 3, 2012
    http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Chen-Guangcheng-se

  • Mary

    "This Nobel Nominee Actually Saves Babies"
    by Valerie Richardson – January 26, 2010

    "When President Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, that meant there were 205 nominees for the award who didn't. One of them was Jim Garrow of the Bethune Institute." – Valerie Richardson http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=35324

    "The Pink Pagoda: One Man's Quest to End Gendercide in China"
    CrosstalkAmerica – March 19, 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5firNqBd_s4

  • Amused

    Nothing " exploded back in America " …and Moran's story is WRONG . Get your facts straight . Try getting your news from sources other than FPM , where the news is slanted to ideology . But that's the way most of you sycophants want it anyway .

    • mrbean

      Like I said before the PC administrator deleted my message – I could have predicted this with an inept Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a clandestine Muslim Marxist total incomperent President Obama running USA foreign policy. King Midas had the golden touch, this two have the sh*&t touch because everything they touch turns to sh&*t.