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May 2, 2012

Chen Guangcheng leaves U.S. embassy in Beijing: But why?

  • what Last week, after months of house arrest, Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng went to the U.S. embassy in Beijing after escaping. He posted a dramatic video after the escape. However, this week, he ended up leaving the embassy as part of a deal between the United States and China.
  • why While not confirmed, a friend of Chen’s, activist Zeng Jinyan, suggested on Twitter that the Chinese government threatened his family with harm. While Chen wanted to leave China over the while affair, if he did so, he would likely never see his family again, according to Zeng. source

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11:17 // 2 years ago

Yesterday, The Washington Post was the first news outlet to confirm and talk to blind, house-arrest-escaping Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng after his escape — in a short cell phone call with U.S. ambassador Gary Locke. Here's how it went down: 

“Hello, this is Chen Guangcheng,” came a matter-of-fact, almost cheerful voice.

I introduced myself in halting Chinese, using my Chinese name and the Chinese name for The Washington Post. I asked how Chen was, and where. I asked him to speak slowly, to make sure I could understand.

“Washington Post?” Chen repeated, his voice sounding generally happy.  Chen said he was fine and was in the car headed to the hospital, Chaoyang Hospital.  He repeated the name slowly, three times. 

And that was it. Chen handed the phone back to the ambassador, who said they were stuck in traffic, but promised a full briefing later.

The Post had a prior relationship with Chen Guangcheng, as they wrote an article on the dissident in 2005.

10:42 // 2 years ago
April 29, 2012
Chinese dissident’s escape could endanger his supporters
The blind lawyer had help with his escape: The story of Chen Guangcheng, the self-taught Chinese lawyer who escaped 19 months of home imprisonment, could prove dangerous for the people who supported his escape, with American and Chinese activists concerned that the Chinese government will strike back. Chen is reportedly being held at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, though U.S. officials have not confirmed this. (A top U.S. official showed up Sunday, however,  suggesting they had a crisis on hand.) Most at risk? Hu Jia, an AIDS activist who was put into police custody Saturday; Nanjing-based activist He Peirong, who was arrested Friday; and Guo Yushan, a scholar who hasn’t been heard from since Saturday. “At this point, I’m more worried about Hu, He and Guo than Chen Guangcheng,” said Human Rights Watch’s Nicholas Bequelin. source
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The blind lawyer had help with his escape: The story of Chen Guangcheng, the self-taught Chinese lawyer who escaped 19 months of home imprisonment, could prove dangerous for the people who supported his escape, with American and Chinese activists concerned that the Chinese government will strike back. Chen is reportedly being held at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, though U.S. officials have not confirmed this. (A top U.S. official showed up Sunday, however,  suggesting they had a crisis on hand.) Most at risk? Hu Jia, an AIDS activist who was put into police custody Saturday; Nanjing-based activist He Peirong, who was arrested Friday; and Guo Yushan, a scholar who hasn’t been heard from since Saturday. “At this point, I’m more worried about Hu, He and Guo than Chen Guangcheng,” said Human Rights Watch’s Nicholas Bequelin. source

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9:16 // 2 years ago
April 27, 2012

Blind Chinese dissident pulls off daring escape, posts this YouTube video

For 19 months, the blind activist and self-taught lawyer Chen Guangcheng was under house arrest for his strong words against the Chinese government — particularly their policies of forced abortions and sterilization. Somehow, he got out, got to the U.S. Embassy, and posted this video, detailing the abuses he and his wife faced. Raise your hand if you think, despite the trouble it took for him to get to this point, this story is amazing.

20:38 // 2 years ago
April 19, 2012
India tests nuclear-capable missile: Unlike the one North Korea recently tested, this actually worked, leading government officials to hail the launch as “proof that the country has taken its place among the world’s most powerful and scientifically advanced nations.” With a reach of 3,100 miles, the missile can conceivably reach Beijing and Shanghai, but not many other Chinese cities. While it’s not as powerful as it could be, it does add a degree of complexity to the diplomatic situation in the region. (photo by India’s Ministry of Defense/AP)

India tests nuclear-capable missile: Unlike the one North Korea recently tested, this actually worked, leading government officials to hail the launch as “proof that the country has taken its place among the world’s most powerful and scientifically advanced nations.” With a reach of 3,100 miles, the missile can conceivably reach Beijing and Shanghai, but not many other Chinese cities. While it’s not as powerful as it could be, it does add a degree of complexity to the diplomatic situation in the region. (photo by India’s Ministry of Defense/AP)

9:52 // 2 years ago
April 16, 2012

"Shall we play a game?" "War Games" gets modern, real-life reboot

The U.S. and China Have Been conducting Cyber War Games, designed to prevent the sudden escalation of military force should either country suspect it’s being targeted, according to a new report in the Guardian. In the first of two simulated exercises, officials from each side were asked to describe how they would respond should their country fall victim to a massive cyber-attack similar to Stuxnet. In the second, they were asked how they would respond if they knew the attack had originated from the opposing side. Unsurprisingly, China’s obviously-capable performance in the games left several officials worried. source

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15:01 // 2 years ago
April 12, 2012
This poor woman may just as well have been starting at a wall after China lost foreign internet access for roughly an hour on Thursday. A variety of reasons have been suggested — censorship, a potential tightening of the “Great Firewall,” an underwater cable damaged due to Wednesday’s Indonesia earthquake — but to put it simply, accessing the information superhighway wasn’t much fun for many in China. (photo by Dan Chung/The Guardian)

This poor woman may just as well have been starting at a wall after China lost foreign internet access for roughly an hour on Thursday. A variety of reasons have been suggested — censorship, a potential tightening of the “Great Firewall,” an underwater cable damaged due to Wednesday’s Indonesia earthquake — but to put it simply, accessing the information superhighway wasn’t much fun for many in China. (photo by Dan Chung/The Guardian)

10:27 // 2 years ago
March 29, 2012
That’s Apple’s Tim Cook. Visiting a Foxconn production line in Zhengzhou, China. Not many details known about his visit yet, but basically the Apple CEO is in the midst of some PR cleanup after a string of controversial reports about Apple’s manufacturing processes — some of which have been proven somewhat suspect. (photo by Bowen Liu/Apple Inc., via Bloomberg News)

That’s Apple’s Tim Cook. Visiting a Foxconn production line in Zhengzhou, China. Not many details known about his visit yet, but basically the Apple CEO is in the midst of some PR cleanup after a string of controversial reports about Apple’s manufacturing processes — some of which have been proven somewhat suspect(photo by Bowen Liu/Apple Inc., via Bloomberg News)

10:09 // 2 years ago
March 25, 2012
This could be the last chance for Syria to avoid a prolonged and bloody civil war. We very much hope your work will end with a positive result.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev • Discussing the role that UN special envoy Kofi Annan will play in attempting to ease tensions in Syria. Annan is leading a peace mission that hopes to end the Syrian conflict. Annan hopes to getting both Russia and China to take a firmer stance against their ally. Both countries have shown support to the Assad regime, blocking measures to criticize the Syrian leader, but each has shown support for Annan’s peace mission. The Kremlin recently said that little would get done as long as outside countries continued to offer the Syrian opposition political and military support.
10:37 // 2 years ago