BBG Watch Media
In an exclusive March 12, 2015 interview with the Voice of America (VOA) Mandarin Service, blind Chinese exiled human rights activist Chen Guangcheng blamed President Obama and the White House staff, but not former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for allegedly trying to force him out from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing where he had sought refuge in April 2012.
In an Op-Ed in Digital Journal, former VOA acting associate director Ted Lipien wrote that “a more prompt VOA reporting on this story in English could have prevented what appear to be misleading recent media speculations about Hillary Clinton’s role in a 2012 diplomatic standoff with China.”
“Had the Voice of America made its exclusive interview with Chen Guangcheng available in English soon after it was recorded about ten days ago, various U.S. media accounts about what the Chinese activist thought of Hillary Clinton’s role in the 2012 incident in Beijing, such as in this Politico March 19 article, ‘Hillary Clinton and the case of Chen Guangcheng,’ might have been written differently,” the author observed. Disclaimer: Ted Lipien is one of the founders of BBG Watch.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the Obama Administration, and members of the bipartisan board in charge of the Voice of America are currently discussing legislation to reform the management of the U.S. overseas media outreach agency. Supporters of reform say that the Voice of America has now a much more important role to play than ever before in responding with objective news to propaganda and disinformation from Russia, China, Iran and terrorist groups.
READ MORE: Op-Ed: Chinese dissident criticizes Obama, praises Hillary Clinton, Ted Lipien, Digital Journal, March 22, 2015
Voice of America
March 22, 2015 12:11 PM
[March 22, 2015 report on the VOA English news website had a Feb. 25, 2014 Reuters photo of Chen Guangcheng. We have substituted a YouTube video of the VOA Mandarin Service interview with Chen Guangcheng from VOA Mandarin March 12, 2015 report.]
NEW YORK CITY—Blind Chinese exiled dissident Chen Guangcheng is taking U.S. President Barack Obama to task in a new book that also praises former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her role in his escape from China.
In an exclusive interview with the VOA Mandarin service, the activist lawyer accused Obama of trying to force him from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing where he had sought refuge.
“Obama held a meeting with all his staff members and made another decision. Some staff even said it is not good for the American national benefit if China becomes democratized,” he said.
He made similar claims in his new book The Barefoot Lawyer, in which he accuses the White House of being weak on the issue of human rights and of worrying that Chen’s case could harm relations with China.
VOA asked the White House for a comment and has received no response.
As much as Chen is criticizing President Obama, he is lavishing praise on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her role in his ordeal.
“Generally I appreciate Hillary very much. After all in that harsh moment, she got me into the U.S. Embassy in emergency time. This is the most significant point. It is she who insisted on the American human rights principle,” he said.
In her book Hard Choices, Clinton said she made the final decision to admit Chen into the embassy in 2012 after he had escaped from house arrest and fled to Beijing.
Chen first gained international recognition as a defender of rural Chinese women who went through forced sterilizations or forced late-term abortions.
He made international headlines in 2012 when he made a dramatic escaped from house arrest in eastern Shandong province and made his way to the U.S. embassy in Beijing.