Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and Presidential hopeful, isn’t as tough on China as she makes you want to believe. At least according to international human rights activist and famous Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng.
Chen, a blind lawyer who escaped house arrest in China causing a diplomatic crisis in 2012, has outright contradicted Clinton’s account of rescuing him. Clinton has long said that it was her tough white knuckle diplomacy that allowed Chen to immigrate freely to the United States.
According to The Telegraph, Chen has accused Clinton and the Obama administration of ‘giving in’ to Chinese government officials. The activist, who was eventually allowed to go the U.S. to study, made these claims in his new memoir The Barefoot Lawyer.
The rescue of the 43-year-old was a large part of Clinton’s own memoir, Hard Choices. In it she claims that the rescue was a triumph of democracy:
“We had done what Chen said he wanted every step of the way.”
However in Chen’s memoir, he contradicts Clinton by writing: “The country that most consistently advocated for democracy […] had simply given in.”
He goes onto to mention that his wishes were not respected and he was continually pressured to leave the U.S. Embassy, where he tried to take asylum.
Chen takes issue with the way things were handled in 2012.
“What troubled me most at the time was this: when negotiating with a government run by hooligans, the country that most consistently advocated for democracy, freedom, and universal human rights had simply given in,” he wrote.
Chen did leave the U.S. Embassy and was taken to a Beijing hospital. After he felt the “noose” of Chinese security around him, he made a public appeal to go to the U.S. and spoke with a U.S. Congressional committee hearing in Washington DC via phone, where he told them that he no longer felt safe.
Chen said the committee chair, Chris Smith and a number of other Congressional leaders, were the “principled and fearless friends of the Chinese people”. A blatant contrast to Clinton and the White House.
Such a contradiction is sure to be brought up more prominently if Clinton decides to run for President next year, something experts have said is likely.
See the news report about Chen being awarded the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize by actor Richard Gere in 2013.