Yes, but, of course, the U.S. should ALWAYS be admonishing China about its inhumane practices - I call BULL SHIT!
Deal to return escaped activist tests U.S.-China ties
Blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, left, is helped by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, right, as they leave the U.S. Embassy for a hospital in Beijing Wednesday.
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
BEIJING — The decision by U.S. officials to release blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng back into Chinese society after his daring escape from local authorities creates a crucial test for U.S.-China relations as a two-day diplomatic dialogue opens here today.
Six days of shuttle negotiations resulted Wednesday in Chen's decision to leave U.S. Embassy protection for a hospital room, where he was reunited with his family and surrounded by Chinese government officials after assurances that he would not be harmed.
It took only hours, however, for the deal announced by senior State Department diplomats to come under question from Chen's friends and human rights activists, many of whom said they feared for his safety — and for Chen to tell the Associated Press he agreed to the bargain under
The entire episode occurred shortly after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived for the fourth annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their Chinese counterparts and threatened to overshadow the talks between the two nations, which already have a delicate relationship.
It added a layer of complexity to a diplomatic mission for Clinton that already includes discussions of arms sales, maritime security and a number of delicate trade, currency and intellectual property rights issues.
David Lampton, director of the China Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, said U.S.-China relations are the most complicated they have been since the Tiananmen Square uprising in 1989.
In the deal, Chen agreed to leave the embassy with the promise that he would get medical treatment, reunite with his wife and two children, be relocated from the village where he alleges mistreatment by local authorities and be allowed to attend a university, two U.S. officials involved in the negotiations said. At no time did he request political asylum in the United States, said the officials, who spoke on background because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
Chen, however, later told the Associated Press that he was warned by U.S. diplomats that Chinese authorities threatened to beat his wife to death if he did not leave the embassy. He said he now wants to go elsewhere. U.S. officials said their Chinese counterparts threatened only to send his family back home if he remained there.
"I was there. Chen made the decision to leave the embassy after he knew his family was safe and at the hospital waiting for him," Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell said.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry criticized the U.S. government for interfering "in the domestic affairs of China" and demanded that it apologize for giving Chen sanctuary at the embassy. The U.S. has not apologized.