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Blame China, not the U.S., for the Plight of Chen Guangcheng

The dramatic events in Beijing surrounding the brave Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng, are confounding and hard to fathom at such a great distance and without all the facts. That has not stopped critics who should know better from rushing to blame the Obama Administration for having mishandled negotiations with the Chinese authorities over his fate.

It is irresponsible to second guess Washington when we don’t know the full story. Instead, the true culprit in this fascinating and increasingly tragic drama is the usual suspect–China’s authoritarian government. China has hounded and mistreated Chen and his family for years. Beijing is now trying to intimidate him when he is beyond the protection of the American embassy. None of this is surprising given China’s lamentable human rights record and its shameful status as the world’s greatest human rights abuser. It was also standard Chinese practice to demand a U.S. apology for harboring Chen, an apology that will surely not be forthcoming. Continue reading >

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