Chen Guangcheng: How Can We ‘Believe That China Will Respect Human Rights and the Rule of Law?'

Patrick Burke | August 3, 2012 | 6:26pm EDT
Font Size

( -- Human rights activist Chen Guangcheng said he hopes the Obama administration will address human rights violations in Communist China, noting that the gross mishandling of his own high-profile case by authorities raises the question, “how are we able to believe that China will respect human rights and the rule of law?”

“As more and more Chinese people are not afraid to stand up and assert their rights, change in China is inevitable,” said Chen through an interpreter during a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday

“And, therefore, at this critical point of transition in Chinese society I sincerely hope that the United States and all other nations that embrace the fundamental values of constitutionalism, democracy, freedom and the rule of law will support and assist with a smooth transition in China.”

“I also hope that Obama and the administration and the American leadership will also continue to working on human rights in China,” he said.

Alongside House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Chen also discussed how Chinese Communist authorities promised him an investigation into the abuses he incurred, as well as a guarantee of his family’s safety.

However, to his knowledge, no such investigation has taken place.

Chen expressed disappointment that Chinese authorities are reluctant to investigate a case that has received so much international attention.

“If a case as high profile as mine cannot be properly handled in accordance with Chinese law and international legal norms, how are we able to believe that China will respect human rights and the rule of law? How are we able to believe that the Chinese central government is moving towards rule of law?” he said.

Chen Guangcheng is a self-taught lawyer and activist who called attention to forced abortions and sterilizations that have occurred in China, as a result of the one-child policy in that authoritarian nation.

In early May of this year, Chen escaped from house arrest and sought refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

He was eventually granted entry into the United States and is now a law student at New York University.

mrc merch