On Friday, I joined many of my House colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton urging her and the Obama Administration to ensure that the Chinese government follows through with its promise to allow Mr. Chen and his family to come safely to the United States and study.
On April 22, Mr. Chen, a self trained legal advocate well known from drawing attention to the China's abuses of human rights particularly the horrors of enforcing the one child policy, escaped from his home in Shandong province, where he and his family had been detained without charge for nearly two years. After escaping from home confinement, Mr. Chen fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and received medical treatment.
Recent reports had suggested that U.S. and Chinese officials successfully negotiated an agreement that would permit Chen and his family to remain in China with assurances from the Chinese government that they can live a normal life. However, just hours after Mr. Chen left our embassy, he discovered that his wife had been abused by Chinese authorities during the six days that he spent in U.S. protection and that police had also moved into his village home. It is clear the Chinese government has gone back on its promises to protect him. Simply put, Chen and his family are in danger.
At this time I do not have faith that the Chinese government will guarantee Mr. Chen and his family's protection, which is why it is so important that the United States act swiftly to transfer him to safety. Failure to protect Mr. Chen and his family would undermine America's global image as a leader in the effort to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I sincerely hope Secretary Clinton and President Obama heed our words, and ensure Mr. Chen's safety.