Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, was pressured to leave American embassy. Probably after behind the scenes negotiating where the Americans did what they could to keep their trade deals going unfettered, while agreeing to throw Mr. Chen under the bus. “The embassy kept lobbying me to leave and promised to have people stay with me in the hospital, but this afternoon as soon as I checked into the hospital room, I noticed they were all gone,” Mr. Chen told CNN by phone.
I am not surprised the Obama administration sold out this guy. The Obama administration has accumulated a nasty record of using state coercion to persecute pro-life activists in the US, they would not try too hard to save the life of one who exposes forced, late term abortion in China. Saying the administration was "duped" is too generous. They are not stupid. Why not say the truth, a blind China man meant nothing to them, when deals could be made with a communist government that still uses slave labour.
Bill WhatcottGoodspeed Analysis: Activists fear U.S. may have been duped in deal to hand Chen Guangcheng over to China
Peter Goodspeed May 2, 2012 http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/201 ... -to-china/
After a week-long standoff that threatened to derail top-level diplomatic talks, Chinese and U.S. officials appeared to reach an agreement Wednesday to allow blind dissident Chen Guangcheng to leave the U.S. embassy, reunite with his family and continue to live freely in China.
But the agreement, carved out during four days of tense negotiations, apparently unravelled within hours of Mr. Chen being escorted to a local hospital by U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke.
Chinese officials refuse to acknowledge the existence of any understanding and gave no public guarantee of Mr. Chen’s safety, while Chinese dissidents angrily question whether Mr. Chen left of his own free will or was coerced by Chinese government threats against his family.
One news report said that within hours of leaving the safety of the U.S. embassy, Mr. Chen said he only left because Chinese officials had threatened to beat his wife to death.
According to the Associated Press, Mr. Chen said in an interview from his hospital room that he now fears for his safety and wants to leave the country.
The delicate diplomatic duet that was supposed to have defused the crisis caused by Mr. Chen’s escape last week from informal house arrest in rural Shandong province and his seeking asylum at the U.S. embassy in Beijing may now become a public relations nightmare.
Something may have changed the moment Mr. Chen was in the custody of Chinese officials. Human rights activists are raising concerns U.S. diplomats may have been duped into handing Mr. Chen over.
“I am increasingly getting the sense that the reassurances the U.S. got from China over Chen’s future were less than they make it sound,” said Nicholas Bequelin, a Hong Kong-based senior Asia researcher for Human Rights Watch.
“I’m somewhat surprised by the U.S. government’s willingness to accept the Chinese government’s assurances or even to get Hillary Clinton to work for Chen’s safety in the long term. It seems they’ve taken a huge risk with this.”
The incident risks becoming a huge embarrassment to the U.S. with Mr. Chen reportedly telling CNN that U.S. officials pushed him to leave the embassy.
“The embassy kept lobbying me to leave and promised to have people stay with me in the hospital, but this afternoon as soon as I checked into the hospital room, I noticed they were all gone,” Mr. Chen told CNN by phone.
“I would like to say to President Obama — please do everything you can to get our family out.”
Earlier Wednesday, U.S. officials had reported that Mr. Chen, a self-taught “barefoot lawyer,” who campaigned against the forced abortions and sterlizations that are part of China’s one-child policy, had agreed to leave the shelter of the U.S. embassy after Chinese officials offered a series of unprecedented assurances.
According to officials involved in the negotiations, the agreement would have allowed Mr. Chen to relocate to another city to attend university while continuing to live in China free of harassment.
The U.S. officials say they were assured they could check in on Mr. Chen to see if he was still being treated fairly.
They stressed that Mr. Chen “made clear from the beginning that he wanted to remain in China, and that he wanted his stay in the United States Embassy to be temporary.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Mr. Chen by telephone before he left the embassy Wednesday and U.S officials said Mr. Chen told her in broken English: “I want to kiss you.”
Mr. Locke accompanied Mr. Chen to the nearby Chaoyang Hospital, where he was to receive a check-up for injuries he suffered during his escape before being reunited with his wife and two children, including a son who he has not seen in two years.
Ms. Clinton, who arrived in China Wednesday, along with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, for an annual two-day “strategic and economic dialogue” with top Chinese officials, issued a statement saying: “I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng’s stay and departure from the U.S. embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values.
“Mr. Chen has a number of understandings with the Chinese government about his future, including the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment.
“Making these commitments a reality is the next crucial task. The United States government and the American people are committed to remaining engaged with Mr. Chen and his family in the days, weeks, and years ahead.”
Mr. Chen’s lawyer, Li Jinsong, also told reporters he had talked to his client by phone and said Mr. Chen was “very happy and wants to hug all his friends”.
Within hours, however, friends of Mr. Chen were reporting they were unable to visit him in hospital and had been turned away by police guarding the hospital’s VIP wing.
Zeng Jinyan, a Beijing activist and wife of Mr. Chen’s best friend, released a message on Twitter claiming Mr. Chen did not leave the U.S. embassy of his own accord but only after his wife and children were told they would be sent back to Shandong province.
According to the Texas-based religious rights advocacy group ChinaAid, Ms. Zeng’s Twitter message reads: “Guangcheng called me and told me that he didn’t say, according to media, ‘I want to kiss you’ to Secretary Clinton. What he actually said was ‘I want to see you.’”
Later she tweeted: “Chen Guangcheng told me for the first time that his whole family wanted to leave.”
For its part China’s foreign ministry is demanding an apology from the United States for sheltering Mr. Chen in the first place.
“What the U.S. needs to do is to stop misleading the public and stop making every excuse to shift responsibility and conceal its own wrongdoing,” foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.
He insisted Washington should not “interfere” in China’s domestic affairs and urged U.S. officials to “take necessary measures to prevent a similar incident.”
The confusion and controversy surrounding Mr. Chen has the potential to derail U.S.-China relations just as U.S. President Barack Obama is entering a re-election campaign and as China’s leaders are redoubling efforts to suppress dissent ahead of a wholesale generational leadership change slated for October.
Having become something of a cult figure for Chinese dissidents through his original escape, Mr. Chen could rapidly become something of a political martyr internationally.