U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented today on reports that China will allow Chen Guangcheng, a human rights activist who recently escaped house arrest, to apply for permission to study in the United States. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"While China has reportedly agreed to let Chen leave, U.S. officials must not assume that Beijing will actually allow this to happen. Only when Chen arrives on American soil and is granted political asylum will we know that this issue is resolved and his freedom and safety are assured.
"U.S. officials made a mistake by escorting Chen away from the safety of the U.S. embassy and into an uncertain fate. To avoid another harmful error, the State Department must press China to carry out its commitments. We cannot assume that this saga has been resolved."