Blind dissident urges global pressure on China over rights

WASHINGTON Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:41pm EST

1 of 7. Actor Richard Gere (R) stands with Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng (C) and his wife Yuan Weijing after Chen received The Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize in the Capitol in Washington January 29, 2013. Gere is a member of the Lantos Foundation advisory board.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY ENTERTAINMENT)

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng urged the United States on Tuesday not to let business concerns prevent it from pressing China over human rights, saying America must never "offer the smallest compromise" on its principles.

Chen is a self-taught legal advocate whose escape from house arrest last April and subsequent refuge in the U.S. Embassy embarrassed China and led to a diplomatic tussle that ended with him leaving China to study in New York.

He used a speech at a human rights award ceremony in Washington to call on the world to hold China to account for repression and to urge ordinary Chinese to look to the example of Myanmar as they struggle to win their rights.

"I sincerely hope that everyone - petitioners, human rights workers, civil rights groups, national governments and especially the United States government - will come together to encourage progress in human rights," said Chen.

"There should be no compromise, even if there are large business interests at stake - dignity, freedom and justice are more important," he said in translated remarks read in English by actor and Tibet advocate Richard Gere.

Chen received the 2012 Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize, named after a California congressman who was the only Holocaust survivor to serve in the U.S. Congress. Lantos died in 2008.

The activist, now studying law at New York University, said he felt a "profound resonance in my heart" with Lantos from their shared experience escaping persecution and dictatorship.

"We must not only remember the atrocities of the fascists, but also recognize that today authoritarianism is firmly entrenched, and that the barbarism of the authoritarian system is the greatest threat to civilized societies," said Chen.

Chen endured 19 months of harsh house arrest in his home village in Shandong province before his escape, but said his family members and contacts continued to suffer. Chen's nephew Chen Kegui was jailed for 3 years after using knives to fend off local officials who burst into his home after Chen's escape.

"Recently, many friends and neighbors who I have been in touch with by phone have been taken into custody by the authorities for questioning. They have been threatened and made to describe what our conversations have been about," he said.

CHINESE PEOPLE "MAIN ACTORS"

The United States bore a special responsibility to uphold and promote its basic founding principles, despite economic weakness that has prompted some deference to fast-growing power China over human rights in recent years, he said.

While "it is clearly difficult to shift attention away from issues of finance and the economy, remember that placing undue value on material life will cause a deficit in spiritual life," said Chen.

"You must establish a long-term plan for human rights and not compromise on it, ever," he added.

China rejects outside criticism of its human rights record as unwarranted interference in its internal affairs.

Chen, whose dramatic escape last year won him a wide following on China's social media networks, said ordinary Chinese must be the "main actors" in achieving their rights.

"Democracy, freedom and justice don't just happen. We must strive for them through action," he said.

"Last year, Myanmar lifted the ban on political parties, and last Friday it abolished media censorship. What the people in Myanmar do, we can do, too," said Chen.

The New Hampshire-based Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice has given previous annual awards to the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Holocaust survivor and activist Elie Wiesel, and Paul Rusesabagina, a Rwandan hotel manager who hid and protected more 1,200 refugees during Rwanda's genocide.

(Editing by Philip Barbara)

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Comments (2)
DeanMJackson wrote:
The caption reads, “Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng urged the United States on Tuesday not to let business concerns prevent it from pressing China over human rights, saying America must never “offer the smallest compromise” on its principles.”

“…never “offer the smallest compromise” on its principles”? For a fraudulent dissident, Chen Guangcheng sure isn’t up to speed on the Federal government’s attacks on the Constitution these last 18 years, beginning with the anti-Constitutional legislation passed by Congress after the 1995 false flag bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. You see, the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 didn’t kill enough people to warrant the passage of such anti-Constitutional legislation (only 7 killed), so the sociopaths within the Federal government made sure that Oklahoma City would do the trick (168 killed, including 19 children under the age of six). And it did!

Now, back to Chen Guangcheng doing his Stevie Wonder impersonation.

The “dissident” movement in China (as in the USSR) is a creation of Beijing, its existence intended to instill in Western minds that the Communist government/party has competing factions, with one faction being the “reformist” faction that allows for “dissidents” being known to the West. With hundreds of thousands government agents that infest every aspect of Chinese life, from urban centers to rural villages, nothing happens in China that isn’t cleared by Beijing:

“Behind the impressive smokescreen of pseudo-democracy, pseudo-capitalism and pseudo-reform, this Russian-Chinese ‘cooperation-blackmail’ strategy is irreconcilably hostile to the West. Again, this is no mere presumption. It was explicitly confirmed in May 1994 to Clark Bowers, a member of an official US Republican delegation to Peking, by Mr Mo Xiusong, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, who is believed to be the highest-ranking Chinese Communist official ever to have answered questions put to him by a knowledgeable Western expert on Communism:

BOWERS: Is the long-term aim of the Chinese Communist Party still world Communism?

Mo XIUSONG: Yes, of course. That is the reason we exist.” – The Perestroika Deception (1995), by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn.

and

“Since at least the early 1970s, the Communist party of China has been poised to create a spectacular but controlled “democratization” at any appropriate time. The party had by then spent two decades consolidating its power, building a network of informants and agents that permeate every aspect of Chinese life, both in the cities and in the countryside. Government control is now so complete that it will not be seriously disturbed by free speech and democratic elections; power can now be exerted through the all-pervasive but largely invisible infrastructure of control. A transition to an apparently new system, using dialectical tactics, is now starting to occur.” — Playing the China Card (The New American, Jan. 1, 1991).

All actions of the Chinese Communist Party and government must be analyzed through the prism of the “Long-Range Policy”, the “new” more subtle strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 as the only credible means to defeat the West with, as first revealed to the West by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn, the only Soviet-era defector to still be under protective custody, proving (1) the collapses of the USSR/East Bloc were strategic ruses; and (2) that all other Soviet-era defectors who followed Golitsyn were still loyal to their respective Communist intelligence agencies, since all of them provided incorrect intelligence on the future of the USSR/East Bloc.

When the Communist government in Beijing “collapses”, Taiwan will be stymied from not joining the mainland.

Jan 29, 2013 8:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Free_Pacific wrote:
“We must not only remember the atrocities of the fascists, but also recognize that today authoritarianism is firmly entrenched, and that the barbarism of the authoritarian system is the greatest threat to civilized societies,” said Chen.

I wonder what the ‘little country hateing’, warmongering Chinese nationalists think of that? Must bruise their concept of superiority, deeply rooted in race, to be told such a truth. To quote a funny witicism from another site ‘Wear big hats to cover your faces’, take refuge in your fake maps.

Jan 30, 2013 2:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
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