According to Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper, this morning blind activist Chen Guangcheng says that China and America have in the main reached agreement to allow him to leave for America and that he will be allowed to meet his friends before departure. He will leave when his health has recovered.
His good friend Jiang Tianyong said that negotiation between China and America had made smooth progress and the direction of further development had been determined. Both sides adopted “positive attitude”. A Central official who visited Chen was quite kind to Chen. When Chen requested for “meeting old friends” before going abroad, the official immediately approved. However, as Chen’s foot was injured last month when he fled house arrest, he would not leave until the injury has been healed. He said what he worried most was the safety of his relatives back home, especially his mother and nephew. Moreover, he was helped by quite a few friends when he fled house arrest. At present he has lost contact with some of them.
His wife Yuan Weijing said that they have not begun application for their travel documents and did not know when they would leave. According to relevant regulations, it takes 15 working days to get a passport or 5 in urgent case.
Previously, State Department Spokesman Victoria Nuland said that China will provide Chen and his family with travel documents “as soon as possible”. U.S.officials estimate that if things go on smoothly, in the fastest case, Chen may leave within a few days.
The hospital Chen stayed remained guarded by plainclothes police yesterday. They did not allow reporters to enter the hospital, but their number has been reduced. American embassy vehicles entered at about 3:00 pm and stayed for about one hour. Sources say that people from the embassy talked with Chen’s wife. Chen says that embassy people come to visit him everyday but are not allowed into his ward with the only exception on May 4 when they brought a doctor to check Chen’s medical record and laboratory reports.
Shandong Lawyers Association tries to accuse Chen of violation of law.
Chen Guangcheng became a lawyer through self-study, and has not received professional legal training. Recently, Shandong Lawyers Association published a signed “solemn statement” on the Internet, stating that Chen Guangcheng is not a lawyer and that passing for a lawyer by engaging in litigation violates the law and can be reported to the relevant government agency.
- China’s blind activist Chen Guangcheng may have to accept exile (chinadailymail.com)
- Fears grow over future of blind dissident Chen Guangcheng after Hillary Clinton flies out (telegraph.co.uk)
- Hospitalised dissident awaits permission to leave China (dailystar.com.lb)