The drama surrounding Chen Guangcheng highlights — again — America’s role as refuge for Chinese citizens.
Late last month, the blind activist, after a request for protection, entered the U.S. embassy in Beijing, smuggled in under the noses of Chinese security agents.
By taking him in, the U.S. had chosen sides in the increasingly volatile confrontation between the Chinese people and China’s Communist Party. Washington, by its actions, had implicitly stated that the rights of citizens were more important than the sovereignty of the People’s Republic. It was a blatant interference in China’s internal affairs — and it was the right thing to do.
Moreover, Washington revealed how weak the Chinese regime is by getting it to extend guarantees of Chen’s safety. In short, Beijing, after negotiations with a foreign government, made agreements relating to its treatment of one of its own nationals on its own soil.
True, Chinese officials violated those promises almost as soon as they were made. But the fact that Beijing extended guarantees was stunning in and of itself. Read More