Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng may be safe for the moment from his country's repressive regime, but pregnant women and their pre-born babies remain in danger.
Chen Guangcheng, the outspoken Chinese pro-life advocate who slipped past that country’s security police to escape house arrest and find refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, left the embassy May 2, reported the New York Times, after assurances by the Chinese government that he and his family would be safe. According to U.S. officials involved in the tense six-day standoff during which an embarrassed Chinese government excoriated the U.S. for intruding in its affairs, Chen called Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after leaving the embassy compound to thank her for intervening on his behalf.
Clinton issued a statement saying she was “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. I was glad to have the chance to speak with him today and to congratulate him on being reunited with his wife and children.”Clinton added that the Chinese pro-life leader “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 blind Chen, who has suffered severe persecution for his role in exposing China’s repressive one-child policy for families — and its record of forced abortion for mothers who insist on giving birth to more children — slipped away from Chinese authorities April 22 and was given refuge in the U.S. Embassy because of the “exceptional circumstances, including his disabilities,” an American official traveling with Clinton told reporters inBeijing. “On humanitarian grounds we assisted him and allowed him to remain on a temporary basis,” the official added.
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Photo: Blind activist Chen Guangcheng, center, is seen in a village in China: AP Images