Blind Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng Says China Can’t be Trusted
Posted by Author on May 23, 2013
LONDON: “Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai” may be the flavour in Delhi after the recent visit of Chinese premier Li Keqiang. However, a strong word of caution has come from one of China’s most wanted men Chen Guangcheng.
Chen, a blind activist who became an international hero after he became the first person to escape house arrest in Beijing for exposing forced abortions and sterilizations in the country and eventually slipping out of China to take refuge in US, told TOI in a rare interview that “Chinese government can’t be trusted. Chinese people aren’t like that but the government’s word can never be trusted. It is an authoritarian regime.”
Chen who has first hand experience of China’s iron hand in suppressing free information told TOI that he wholeheartedly supported talks with the Dalai Lama.
China recently took a hard stance against the Tibetan leader giving a cold shoulder to British Prime Minister David Cameron for meeting him. Cameron ultimately had to cancel his business visit to China after Beijing “could not find free time” to meet him.
Chen who has been blind since childhood and was sent to prison for more than four years in 2006 told TOI: “Tibetans are treated badly. I say a big yes for China to talk to the Dalai Lama. It is China’s own propaganda to defame the Dalai Lama. It is important the international community pressurizes the Chinese government to give freedom to Tibet.”
Chen who expressed interest to come to India to talk about his story urged the Manmohan Singh-led government to be more China’s most wanted men Chen Guangcheng
“It is in favour of all democracies in the world that India must play a part in voicing support for activists working in China for more transparency. If the international community does not speak up, it will permit the Chinese government to continue with the attitude of impunity towards its people,” Chen, who has been designated by Amnesty International as prisoner of conscience, said.
Chen presently lives in the US, where he continues to speak out on human rights issues. Chen is now worried about the safety of his family and friends. His elder brother Chen Guangfu has been detained. Chinese authorities supposedly hired goons who had beaten his wife so badly they broke a bone near her left eye but would not allow her to seek medical treatment.
They also beat his mother.
Chen Guangcheng said his daughter is followed each day by three people who searched her school bag.
He added that he feared for the safety of his family, including his wife, Yuan Weijing, and his young daughter, both of whom he presumed could become targets for “revenge”.
There has been no talks between the Chinese government and Dalai Lama for the second year in succession. This is the longest gap between talks over the past decade.
China meanwhile has charged the Dalai Lama of instigating self-immolations. Incidents of self-immolation by Tibetans increased in 2012 with 82 such attempts recorded in mainland China through the year. At least 69 of these incidents resulted in the death of the individual.
UK recently asked China to resume talks with the Dalai Lama to sort out their differences over the future of Tibet.
Talking to TOI, UK foreign secretary William Hague said, “China has consistently remained a country of concern as far as human rights are concerned with serious violations recorded against Tibetans. Dialogue between the Dalai Lama and China is the best way to address this situation.”
– source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
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