Netizens discuss Chen Guangcheng’s “happy ending” and U.S. embassy’s role
May 5, 2012Jing Gao2 CommentsAung San Suu Kyi, Chen Guangcheng, Diplomacy, dissidents, Gary Locke, Human rights, Michael Anti, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Obama Administration, sino-us relations, U.S. Embassy, Wen Jiabao
After Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced at a press conference that Chen Guangcheng could well apply to study abroad just as any other Chinese citizen can, the U.S. State Department issued a statement that says Chen has been offered a financial aid package by a U.S. university and is allowed to bring his wife and two children along to the U.S.
This is seen as a graceful exit for both the U.S. and Chinese governments, as the departure of Chen Guangcheng, a high-profile blind human rights activist detained and tortured by Chinese authorities, is a good riddance to the Communist Party’s autocracy as well as a satisfactory answer to U.S. hawkish politicians who take the Obama Administration to task for giving in to Beijing’s pressure. (Read: Beijing’s bashing of U.S. government on activist Chen Guangcheng backlashes at home)
Chen Guangcheng (in the middle) speaks with Gary Locke (left), U.S. ambassador to China.
Details of the deal struck behind the scenes were first quipped on Twitter and then posted to Sina Weibo by Chinese blogger and activist Michael Anti, before moderators at Sina Weibo squelched its circulation: “@coattail: Mr. Chen in the class of 2016 has no SAT or TOEFL score. He lost vision in both eyes and yet is still active and persevering in filing his applications despite being physically impaired. Even though he is way behind the deadline, he still got an offer from NYU within 24 hours since his application, with financial aid. The agency that fast-tracked his application and made this miracle is the U.S. embassy.”
Below are a selection of netizens’ reaction to the news from Sina Weibo, which runs the whole gamut from sympathy and goodwill to outright contempt.
鄂尔多斯我：After being called the safest place in China, xx embassy has recently been elevated by Chinese netizens to the status of the highest office for petitions and appeals. Its ambassador, Garry Lok (intentional typo), is referred to as the director of China’s office for petitions and appeals paid by imperialistic America, director of anti-corruption office, president of China Disabled Persons’ Federation, director of the Central Office for Socialist Culture, and the only ministerial-level official in Beijing whose entire family are based inside the country. We recommend him as the ideal recipient of honorary titles, such as March-Eighth Red-Banner Pacesetter, May-Fourth Youth Medal, and National Model Worker.
谈谈恋爱-娇娇朋友：It seems that both parties have reached a consensus~!
切鲋撕鸡：Let him go. I had very limited knowledge and scanty information about him previously. On hearing his name, I googled him. I don’t whether his anecdotes are true or false. If they are true, the country has really failed him. If they are false, why not make them known to the public and bring him to justice? Why he is still allowed to apply to study abroad just as any other Chinese citizen can? My vision is blurred. I wonder if there will be breezes that can clear the fog.
暖小崖：I am just thinking, from now on, any Chinese that have a grievance can go to the U.S. embassy, and then Americans will become the yardstick for justice in China.
季卫东微博：This crisis is finally over. Actually the Chinese government is making progress, except that newspapers in Beijing are a little too……(Note: allusion to the state-run media’s unanimous bashing of the U.S. government)
為君祭酒：Chen Guangcheng is from Linyi, Shandong province. He lost his vision in both eyes to an illness in childhood. He didn’t receive any formal education or training in law. Instead, he helped many villagers and disabled people fight for their rights with legal knowledge he taught himself, therefore, he is referred to by the media as “a lawyer from scratch.” He was jailed from 2006 to 2008. Later, he was put under house arrest along with his wife and daughter. He escaped surveillance with assistance in April 2012 and entered the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
六只柿子：Bon voyage. A good person will be rewarded with good ending. This is the reward you deserve. We will not forget you.
均金无忌：Going out is only possible with patriarchs’ consent. No matter how old you are, in the Heavenly Kingdom, you are always a minor.
半夏夜卧看天河_DAVID：New service provided by the U.S. embassy: study abroad agency.
水火同融：He is just a pawn used by imperial America against China, and some people really thought of him as a hero. How ridiculous that is!
莫奈-香草的天空：As long he is a good-natured citizen who didn’t break the law, we wish him a better future! If he has so much suffering and misery, leaving for another place is to an extent a relief for him.
木可木可2239：Why they all went into the U.S. embassy? What does it tell us?
carambola：How about giving the U.S. ambassador a dynamite prize (slang for Nobel Peace Price)?
嘉仪的宅男老爸：I just want to say, Aung San Suu Kyi didn’t escape from Myanmar!
麦子和大地: A face-saving end to all parties.
记忆电影重播着黑白片：Let’s go to the U.S. embassy if we have grievances. Support disabled people.
假如俺是武松：Sigh, what kind of ending is that? And he wants to study? Anyway, better safe than sorry.
江苏东方之子: Premier Wen Jiabao pointed out that cooperation between China and the U.S. represents the general trend.
洪慧敏Amber： Why bother to take TOFEL or GRE? Breaking into the U.S. embassy can immediately guarantee admission into a university.
糼機譮：Surrender, the rabble. Becoming an activist can guarantee a green card and immigration to the U.S. embassy for your entire family!
彪哥_puma: Thanks to Americans for raising a disabled person for us. We still have millions more disabled people. How about raising them all?