Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng to take fellowship at an American university
Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese activists who managed to escape house arrest (while blind no less) and hole up in the American Embassy in Beijing, causing a minor diplomatic stand-off for the Obama administration, has been offered an education fellowship at an American University.
Chen, a self-taught lawyer, had previously spent four years in prison for his legal advocacy related to China’s forced abortion and sterilization policies, aimed at population control.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was on a long-planned trip to Beijing, found herself involved in the Chen situation, which is typical in China—an oppressed activist seeking freedom. (See: Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.)
It seems as though the Chinese will be cooperating with Chen’s fellowship opportunity. “As a Chinese citizen, he may apply like other Chinese citizens according to the laws and normal procedures of the relevant departments,” said Liu Weimin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
The fellowship was announced by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. Chen will, of course, be accompanied by his wife and children. With this matter on its way to resolution, Mitt Romney, who called Obama’s handling of the Chen situation a “day of shame,” has one less thing to bitch about.