A car from the US embassy in Beijing arrives at Beijing Chaoyang Hospital Wednesday, where activist Chen Guangcheng was believed to get a checkup. Photo: AFP
It was confirmed Wednesday that Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese legal activist, entered the US embassy in Beijing in late April and left of his own volition after staying there for six days. The issue received official notification one day before the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which shows both sides do not want the issue to affect their relationship.
Chen's case originated from the grass-roots disputes in Linyi, Shandong Province and evolved into a more complex situation under the interference of Western media and even diplomatic factors. Chen is boosted as a human rights advocator by the West and some online activists. The political role he now undertakes is far from where he began. The West and its supporters in China always need a tool to work against China's current political system. Those who become these tools have few choices of their own.
It is certain that Chen's case is only an interlude for China's development. It will not undermine social stability, nor will it hinder the normal development and progress of China's human rights. China can take a composed attitude when such cases happen again.
It is meaningless to use Chen's case to attack China's human rights. The progress of China's human rights these years has been noticeable and will not be beleaguered by such attacks. China's stability lies in its grassroots. Although many problems have emerged at this level, their development is moving in the right direction. Confrontations may take place occasionally due to China's large scale, but they have not dominated society and will be played down by the majority's optimism.
It is easy for the West to trouble China by picking up on such excuses. But this will only remain a verbal war. The criticism against China sometimes serves as a helpful reminder, but we can also choose to pay no heed to it.
It is hoped that the US embassy in China can distance itself from activities that do not match its functions. It should gain the favorable impression of China's public rather than being an escape route for more extreme elements. It will be too much for the US embassy to bear if it takes on the role of the latter. It should adopt a pragmatic attitude toward its capabilities and functions as well as their roles within the Sino-US relationship.
We would like to see that Chen's case be resolved. Those who want to plot against China by making use of Chen Guangcheng may be just deluding themselves.
The author is a commentator with the Chinese edition of the Global Times.
Global Times Report
China demands US apology in Chen case
China Wednesday demanded an apology from the US for taking a Chinese citizen "via abnormal means" into its embassy in Beijing, stressing that the country respects human rights and citizens should voice their appeals in a lawful manner.
"It should be pointed out that Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese citizen, was taken by the US side to the US embassy in Beijing via abnormal means, and the Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with the move," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.