The story of Ghuangchek Chen, the blind activist who took refuge in the U.S. embassy, seems to have taken another turn. This morning, the story, as reported by the MSM, was that Chen had left the Embassy after he and the U.S. received assurances that, as I put, China would be nice to Chen. Specifically, Chen would relocate to another part of China, enter law school, and be treated like any other student.
The dissident reportedly was happy with the deal. In fact, he was said to be so grateful to the U.S. that he expressed his desire to kiss Hillary Clinton.
I predicted that Chen’s happiness would be short-lived. China, it seemed to me, was sure to seek retribution.
“Short-lived” appears to have been a gross understatement. According to the Washington Post, Chen, who is being treated at a hospital, has already appealed to the U.S. for help, stating that he fears for his family’s safety unless they are all spirited abroad.
Moreover, doubt has been cast on initial reports that Chen was ever happy with the deal that led to him leaving the Embassy. The Post now reports that “a friend of Chen Guangcheng says he was pressured [into the deal], and agreed to stay in China to protect his family.” The pressure apparently came in the form of threats from the Chinese government – threats that were relayed to him by the U.S. government. The U.S. admits that it relayed China’s threats, but denies claims that China threatened to attack Chen’s wife. The U.S. also denies that it has left Chen by himself in the Chinese hospital. Perhaps Michael Corleone and Enzo the baker are there.
I don’t blame our government for relaying the Chinese position to Chen. But if the most recent reporting is true, the initial State Deparatment line regarding the circumstances of Chen leaving the Embassy consisted of misleading happy talk.