Well, at least China expects someone to apologize . . . just not itself. After keeping a blind Chinese legal activist in continual house arrest and denying him access to the outside world, China has demanded that the United States apologize for allowing him to enter its embassy after his inspiring escape. In the meantime, it has rounded up every Chinese person believed to have helped Chen Guangcheng. Chen has been allowed to go to the hospital and is expected to return home and presumably to his caged existence.
Here is the entire and only statement that China has made on its disgraceful abuse of this human rights lawyer:
“It is understood that Chen Guangcheng of Linyi County in Shandong province entered the United States embassy to China in late April and left of his own accord six days later. It must be pointed out that the United States Embassy took the Chinese citizen Chen Guangcheng into the embassy in an irregular manner, and China expresses its strong dissatisfaction over this.
“The US handling of this was interference in Chinese domestic affairs, and this is totally unacceptable to China. The US Embassy to China has a duty to abide by the relevant international and Chinese laws, and should not engage in activities that are not in keeping with its functions.”
“China demands that the US apologise over this, thoroughly investigate this incident, punish those who are responsible, and give assurances that such incidents will not recur. China has noted that the US side has expressed that it takes seriously China’s demands and concerns, and also given assurances that it will take the necessary measures to prevent such incidents recurring. The US side should reflect on its policies and practices, and take effective actions to protect broader Sino-U.S. relations.
“The Chinese side stresses that China is a country of rule of law, and any citizen’s legitimate rights and interests are protected by the Constitution and the law. At the same time, all citizens are obliged to abide by the Constitution and laws.”
What China considers a “citizen’s legitimate rights” obviously does not consider freedom of speech, freedom of association, or due process.
There are questions raised over the sheltering of a national in an embassy under international rules. It is a rare, though not unprecedented act. Yet, such questions are not motivating much debate when a country is irate over the escape of one of its human rights victims. After violating a host of international and human rights laws in the abuse of Chen and his family, the Chinese government now seems intent on fighting over a jurisdictional point. Mao would be proud.
Source: New York Times