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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/4/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Activist Chen Guangcheng was at center of broiling U.S. - China controversy

China has agreed to let blind activist Chen Guangcheng, along with his family to leave the country soon, according to the U.S. state department. Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said in a statement on that China would expedite travel documents for the rights campaigner, who escaped house arrest and fled to the U.S. embassy, where he spent six days before emerging this week for medical care.

Chen Guangcheng currently remains in a guarded Beijing hospital ward, unable to see U.S. officials. 'I can only tell you one thing. My situation right now is very dangerous,' Chen was quoted by the Associated Press news as saying.

Chen Guangcheng currently remains in a guarded Beijing hospital ward, unable to see U.S. officials. "I can only tell you one thing. My situation right now is very dangerous," Chen was quoted by the Associated Press news as saying.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/4/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Chen Guangcheng, U.S., China, diplomacy. activist


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Mr. Chen has been offered a fellowship from an American university, where he can be accompanied by his wife and two children," Nuland said.

"The Chinese government has indicated that it will accept Mr. Chen's applications for appropriate travel documents.

"The United States government expects that the Chinese government will expeditiously process his applications for these documents, and make accommodations for his current medical condition."
 
Nuland added that the agreements were "handled in the spirit of a co-operative US-China partnership."

In the spirit of international cooperation, China announced that Chen could apply to study abroad like "any other Chinese citizen.

"If he wants to study abroad, he can apply through normal channels to the relevant departments in accordance with the law, just like any other Chinese citizen," Liu Weimin, foreign ministry spokesman said in a brief statement.

Chen currently remains in a guarded Beijing hospital ward, unable to see U.S. officials. "I can only tell you one thing. My situation right now is very dangerous," Chen was quoted by the Associated Press news as saying.

"For two days, American officials who have wanted to come and see me have not been allowed in."

Chen spoke by phone to a U.S. congressional hearing on his case, asking to be allowed to spend some time in the U.S.

"I want to come to the U.S. to rest. I have not had a rest in 10 years," Chen said, his comments made on a mobile telephone that was held up to a microphone at the hearing.

"I'm concerned most right now with the safety of my mother and brothers. I really want to know what's going on with them."

"My fervent hope is that it would be possible for me and my family to leave for the U.S. on Hillary Clinton's plane," Chen said.

Chen sought refuge in the U.S. embassy last week, which started a diplomatic crisis.

Chen stayed there for six days until Wednesday, when U.S. officials took him to a Beijing hospital after assurances from the Chinese government that he and his family would receive better treatment.

Chen has been receiving treatment for a broken foot sustained during his escape; said U.S. officials had left him alone there with his family, although he said he expected them to stay with him.

In the meantime, Chinese media have accused the U.S. of using Chen to demonize China.

"The fact that the U.S. brought up the issue of Chen Guangcheng does not mean that the U.S. really has any good will, but that it is full of desires to put on a show," the Beijing Times said.

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