Skooter reporting 05/05/12
In a dramatic call from his hospital bed to a congressional hearing, Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese dissident took his desperate appeal for help getting out of China to Capitol Hill. Chen said he want to meet with Secretary of Statehoping he can get more help from her.
The mix-up that took the human-rights icon from the safety of the US Embassy in Beijing and made him a near hostage in a heavily guarded hospital would likely become a tragedy for Clinton and hand Republicans a soft-on-China campaign issue this fall.
Last week Chen, 40, escaped house arrest in the eastern China province of Shandong and took safety in the US Embassy in Beijing but according to him, he was pressured by US diplomats to leave the embassy.
GOP presidential challengersaid during a campaign appearance in Portsmouth, Va., that if these reports are true, then this is a dark day for freedom and it’s a day of shame for the Obama administration. Jay Carney, Obama spokesman said, there was no pressure on Chen to leave the embassy.
Chen made personal pleas to Clinton and President Obama yesterday saying that he wants to come to the US to rest. He has not had a rest in 10 years and the villagers who had helped him were “receiving retribution.” He spoke to legislators via cellphone during an emergency session of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
Earlier, Chen begged for help from Obama. “Please do everything you can to get our whole family out,” Chen said on CNN. However, Jay Carney, Obama’s spokesman refused to talk asylum. He said that that’s a question for the State Department. But State Department spokesman MarkToner said he couldn’t talk about asylum either.
New York Post