The following is a personal opinion from Chan Kai Yee, author of Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements.
Chen Guangcheng certainly proved his super wisdom with his miraculous escape, but in America such as Tiananmen heroine Chai Ling were disappointed that Chen spoke positively in his meeting with the media when he arrived in America (see my May 20 post “Chen speaks positive of China, ”). fears he is under control
Chai Ling said it was not the Chen Guangcheng she knew.
Super wisdom is difficult to understand.
Keep the door open for other dissidents and protect his relatives
First, in order to save face, China would not allow Chen to seek political asylum in America; therefore, Chen went to America to “study”. Seeing that, Chen cleverly reached an agreement with a central official to receive a promise that his rights as a citizen would be protected for a long time (see my May 21 post “Chen Guangcheng will go back to China”) and his relatives will not be persecuted.
Obviously, in exchange, Chen promised that he would save China’s face by refraining from criticising the Chinese government while he is in America. It took more than one year for the United States to get Fang Lizhi out to seek political asylum in the United States. Chen’s case set a precedent for dissidents to seek asylum on the excuse of going abroad to study when they cannot survive in China.
Having suffered such severe persecution in China, a person with ordinary wisdom and self-control will give vent to his indignation as soon as he leaves China. Chen, instead, praised the Chinese government for its “restraint and soberness” so that the Chinese government may remain so when other dissidents have to “go abroad to study” as a last resort.
Second, perhaps, the official also threatened Chen that his relatives would be punished severely if Chen fails to honour his promise. Chen has to refrain from criticising the Chinese government.
Ming Pao reports today that lawyers who volunteered to defend Chen’s nephew were not allowed by police to contact Chen’s nephew Chen Kegui, who has been prosecuted for murder in the government’s attempt to pressure Chen Guangchen.
Therefore, Chen had to publicly urge the Chinese government to honour its promise. Chen certainly has to speak positive now and keep in reserve his weapon of criticising the Chinese government so that he can use it when things have gone out of control.
Chai Ling said that Chen was under control, but Chen is clever enough to keep the Chinese government under his control too. He has lots of first-hand information to reveal serious violations of human rights in China!
Last but not the least, Chen wants to continue his rights activities in China; therefore he has to make the Chinese government keep the promise to enable his return.
Radio Television Hong Kong reports that at Chen’s words he wants to return to China. The Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry responded that China is a country with a rule of law, where a citizen’s rights were protected by the Chinese constitution and law. As Chen Guangcheng is a Chinese citizen, he shall observe Chinese laws and regulations as if Chen’s suffering had been caused by his violation of Chinese law.
Chinese constitution and law failed to protect not only Chen’s but also Chen’s wife’s and children’s rights in Shandong. Perhaps, Chen did commit a “crime” and was imprisoned for 4 year but shall he be kept under house arrest forever after he had served his time? Is there any provision in Chinese law that a released criminal shall be kept under house arrest? What crime had his wife and children committed to have been placed under house arrest too? Obviously what the Ministry said was false in Chen’s case.
Splitting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
Chen knows well there are lots of people in the CCP who really want human rights and democracy and lots of others who want otherwise. He said “Through lots of twists and turns, I have finally come out from Shandong” in meeting the media, and that he was very happy to see the Chinese government’s “restraint and soberness”.
In fact there were lots twists and turns in leaving China, but he only mention those in leaving Shandong and refrain from saying that through lots of twists and turns he has left China. He has thus separate Shandong authority from the Central authority. The former is denounced but the latter is praised for its “restraint and soberness”.
He knows the strategy that in fighting for human rights, he has to treat different people in the CCP differently. He has to praise those who support human rights and denounce those who act otherwise .
If the CCP had really wanted the rule of law, it should have realised Chen’s super wisdom, devotion and integrity. It should have funded Chen’s study of Chinese and foreign laws, recruited him into the CCP and promoted him to the post in charge of the rule of law. Then I believe the implementation of the rule of law would have been greatly facilitated in China.