Complete Transcript and Translation of My Telephone Conversation with Chen Kegui (陈克贵)

As I said in the previous post, I was on Twitter earlier this afternoon (Eastern Time, April 26, Thursday), around 1:30 pm (China Time 1:30 am, April 27, Friday) someone tweeted a post taken from Weibo saying that Chen Guangcheng’s nephew, the son of his eldest brother Chen Guangfu (陈光福), slashed a knife at a group of thugs breaking into his house. And he had called the police to surrender himself and he was now outside the village waiting for the arrival of the police. A cell phone number was provided by the tweet.

I called and didn’t really expect to find him. But I did! His name is Chen Kegui 陈可贵. In distress, speaking and crying in turn, Kegui told me what had happened. Early in the morning (April 26, Thursday), a lot of vehicles (not police vehicles, he said, at least not marked as police vehicles) and plainclothes guards descended on the village. His mother (Ren Zongju, 任宗举, CGC’s sister-in-law) overheard the guards saying on the phone that CGC disappeared and only Weijing was home. The villagers, including CGC’s relatives living in the village, had no idea what had happened. The following is a translation of the transcript of the telephone conversation I had with Chen Kegui. Parts in italic are Chen’s:

This morning my mother said, “I heard them saying in lowered voices, ‘Guangcheng disappeared, there was only Weijing at home.’”  These were their own words. Later in the day when I was on my way to my father-in-law’s, I saw many police vehicles, and I thought to myself it was probably all true. All day long as I worked, I felt distracted, feeling that something was going to happen. And it did tonight.

Around midnight, about two hours ago, they entered our property by jumping over the enclosed walls, they pried open the locks and kicked on the doors. I heard my mother crying inside [earlier Kegui told me he lives in the same property with his parents but in adjoining quarters], helplessly, “Please don’t come in! Please don’t come in!”

Then I saw Zhang Jian [chief of the township Shuanghou that has jurisdiction over Chen Guangcheng’s village], a man I don’t like. I saw him right away. I went out; when I did, I took two kitchen knives with me for self-defense. Then I heard Zhang Jian saying, “Look! He has two kitchen knives! Apprehend him!”

So they moved to grab the knives from me. They didn’t have any warrant. I wasn’t the one who moved first, and it was they who tried to come to get me. I didn’t know who they were, except for Zhang Jian. They showed no papers. After they spoke these words and tried to get me, I started slashing.

As I did, my mother cried out, “Don’t! Don’t! The child has a high fever! Hurry up. Call 110!” By then they had surrounded me, one man hit my head several times with a thick wooden club. I had no choice but to slash with my knives. I broke up the club—apparently it was not very sturdy. When they saw that I wasn’t afraid, they ran away. I ran after to look for them, but saw no trace of any of them.

Fearing that I might be captured by them, beaten senseless to death, I ran away from home. At a place where I would be safe for a while, I called the police and surrendered myself. I called 120, begging them to come to save my child [who is sick]. So here I am, waiting for the police to show up.

In China, law is trampled over at will. I love my motherland, but this is what she gives me! [sobbing]

Chen Guangcheng is innocent. But they forced a charge on him. [sobbing] My father is getting old, couldn’t walk, and where did they take him? [sobbing] I feel helpless. I hope everyone can be equal in front of the law. [sobbing]

Me: Kegui, what do you want to ask your prospective lawyers? Say what you want to say, and I will record it.

I am online often. I read that a vice dean of the University of Politics and Law, his name is He Bin (何兵), even he got blocked [by Weibo for supporting Chen Guangcheng]. I have no faith at all in the law. I don’t know what outcome this will have.

Me: Kegui, regardless whether you have faith in the law or not, regardless of the outcome, just speak what your hopes are.

I hope lawyers will defend me out of reason and justice. I was defending myself; I didn’t go out to kill anyone. It was they who broke into my home and raised havoc. I hope the lawyers will defensd me out of reason. I hope everyone is equal in front of the law.

Me: Anything else?

This would be my will.

I hope the law defends me. I am just. I did not take knives to go out to kill anyone. I was defending myself in my own home. They attempted to apprehend me without showing any warrant.

If I am sentenced to death, I hope someone will help take care of my father, my mother, my family, my child. [sobbing] I have not been a good son for my parents. I have not been a good husband for my wife. I have not been a good father for my child. I hope the law will… I hope the case will be dealt with according to rights provided for by the law, not manipulated by the privileged people.

Or, China will not have a good prospect.

Me: Kegui, how old are you?

I am 32, 33. My animal sign is goat.

Me: How old is your dad?

My dad is 54. He was born in a rooster year.

Me: When was the last time you saw Guangcheng?

To be accurate, we spent the Chinese New Year together in early 2011. At that time, perhaps the government wanted….for whatever reason I can’t tell, they allowed all of us to go back for the New Year. But this year they would not let us, no matter what.

Me: This was the New Year before last, right?

Right. Just my family. On the New Year’s Day, they allowed the villagers to visit Guangcheng. Then, after midday, villagers were not allowed anymore. Since then, nobody has seen him. When one of Guangcheng’s brothers died earlier this year, Guangcheng forced his way out of the house, and I caught a glimpse of him. But ten or twenty people, led by Zhang Jian, blocked the exit of the village, and no one could pass through. Two students in the village took pictures of the scene, but the thugs took their cell phones and deleted everything. They said, “Don’t ruin your future by doing this.” That’s what they said.  

Me: There have been a lot of rumors lately about Guangcheng’s deteriorating health. Living in the same village, have you heard anything?

I don’t know. No one can get close to Guangcheng. No one. Chen Guangcheng never leaves his house. Scores of people sit in his yard watching him.

Me: Your grandma, or Guangcheng’s mother, is she allowed to come out? She can’t come out either?

I haven’t seen my grandma for a long time. I have been working in the town where the county seat is, where I had a small [illegible] to keep a meager living. It’s sad to come back, so I avoided it. When I see those people, I feel sick at heart. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I don’t know how all this will end. Chen Guangcheng’s case is completely extralegal. [illegible] China, is it a country with the rule of law?

Me: Kegui, don’t lose heart. Many people are making efforts. Tens of thousands of people are trying to save Guangcheng….

I feel hopeless, because it’s been years, not just a day or two. Since ’05. Of course there has been some progress and I can see that. I can see that online. So many people, complete strangers to Chen Guangcheng, got beaten badly for his sake. Like what a friend of mine said, what they did lashes out on our conscience: We were so close to them, but we couldn’t go up and help them. We couldn’t do anything for them, and we left them to be beaten. It’s like my own loved ones were beaten.

I have called the police almost an hour ago. I am in the open right now. The police still haven’t come. I saw some flashing siren a while ago, but they disappeared.

I want to ask: Does China still have law? [rest of sentence illegible]

[Rest from the second recording]

My grandma is over eighty years old. So many people were guarding her every day, and she had to walk a long way to buy vegetables. Now I guess she probably isn’t even allowed to leave the house.

If Chen Guangcheng is guilty, arrest him, or execute him, according to the law. But they don’t arrest him. They don’t execute him. They do this to him. My little cousin Kesi (陈克斯) is guarded to go to school and to go home. What wrong has Guangcheng’s family committed? I don’t know what society this is, whether it has any [sobbing, illegible]. I can’t see the police siren. I don’t know whether the police are coming. Perhaps they will send a sniper to kill me. They would accuse me of killing. It’s all possible.

Me: No, they wouldn’t dare!

I believe they would dare. I absolutely believe they would. If they have dogs with them, they will find me very quickly. No need for me to hide. If I see police cars, I will walk to them. If the thugs are here and I die, I am so sorry for my family. I haven’t done anything to fulfill my filial duty and to love everyone. I can’t do anything to help Guangcheng either. At the bottom of this society, it is all so tragic.  

Audio is here.

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About Yaxue Cao

I grew up in Northern China during the Cultural Revolution, came to the United States in the early 1990s to study literature and stayed. I have been writing stories about China, exploring both my own experiences and those of others against the larger picture of Communist China. You can find my work on Amazon.com, and new works are being added periodically.
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43 Responses to Complete Transcript and Translation of My Telephone Conversation with Chen Kegui (陈克贵)

  1. Pingback: Chen Escapes, But Chilling Signs for Chen Guangcheng’s Family | ChinaGeeks | analysis and translation of modern China

  2. Yaxue C. says:

    A statement from Yinan County (沂南) government:

    4月26日,山东省临沂市沂南县双堠镇东师古村村民陈克贵,持刀砍伤当地政府干部及工作人员。目前,陈克贵畏罪潜逃,伤员正在医院抢救,当地公安机关正抓紧追捕,并将依法对相关人员进行处理。

    Translation:
    On April 26, Chen Kegui, a villager in Dong Shi Gu village, Shuanghou Township, Yinan County, Linyi City, Shangdong Province, injured local government officials and staff with knives. Chen Kegui has absconded, and the injured are being treated in hospital. Local public security organs are doing their best to apprehend him, and relevant people will be dealt with according to the law.

    http://www.yinan.gov.cn/news/bdkx/2012/427/124271324291BHE515065DJ645J2GGI.html

  3. Chopstik says:

    Thanks for posting this. Hopefully more people become aware of this situation and a remedy can be found.

  4. Yaxue C. says:

    More than four relatives of Chen Guangcheng have been apprehended by local authorities & their whereabouts remain unclear.

    http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2012/04/blog-post_7393.html?spref=tw

    As we are learning now, this is a source that has consistently provided reliable information about Chen Guangcheng.

  5. macroidtoe says:

    “When they saw that I wasn’t afraid, they ran away.”

    This needs to become some kind of slogan.

  6. Lao Wai says:

    BBC is reporting CGC is at the US Embassy in Beijing

  7. Robert in BC Canada says:

    I am deeply saddened by these events but in awe of the courage of Chen and his relatives.
    Y father was a Jewish child in Nazi Germany. This behavior of the Chinese authorities sounds a lot like a fascist dictatorship to me.
    All the activists on China are in my thoughts tonight. I wish for a free and open society in China.

  8. Yaxue C. says:

    You can read the English transcription of Chen Guangcheng’s 15-minute vedio describing his treatment by local thugs and government and making three demand to Wen Jiabao, the Prime Minister of China:

    http://sjreporter.blogspot.fr/2012/04/chen-guangcheng-addresses-premier-wen.html

  9. Yaxue C. says:

    A team of six lawyers will be representing Chen Kegui (陈克贵), and they are:

    Liu Weiguo ( 刘卫国, 山东), Chen Wuquan (陈武权,广州), Yi Tiejun (衣铁军, 上海), Teng Biao (滕彪), Wang Shihua (王誓华) and Liang Xiaojun (梁晓军). The last three are Beijing-based.

  10. Yaxue C. says:

    Two updates:

    1. Chen Kegui (陈克贵) is still at large, still trying to get in touch with the police, still waiting for being apprehended by police. No, this is not a joke! But this is China, and it’s a pretty bad joke.

    2. From renowned rights lawyer Teng Biao just moments ago: What I fear most now is Guangcheng’s relatives being tortured & life might be lost. Keep our eyes wide open. Tonight, lawyer Liu Weiguo (刘卫国) and his assistant are traveling to Yinan (沂南). Another lawyer will be going as well to provide legal assistance to Chen Guangcheng’s family. We continue to need more lawyers to join us to represent the case.

    (@tengbiao我现在最担心的事情,是光诚的被拘捕的亲属遭受酷刑,成为另一个薛锦波。我们要时刻瞪大了眼睛看。今晚,@律师刘卫国 和助手将赴沂南,另一律师也将在一两日内动身前往,为受难的陈光诚家人提供法律援助。我们继续需要愿意代理相关案件的律师。)

  11. Yaxue C. says:

    Lawyer Liu Weiguo (刘卫国) and his assistant have NOT been able to find Chen Kegui, after searching over night, following clues provided by a netizen who spoke to Kegui on the phone. The lawyers are trying to expand the search area. Via @tengbiao

  12. Pingback: The Rise of Chen Guangcheng | Freedom at Bethsaida

  13. Yaxue C. says:

    Still no news of Chen Kegui’s whereabouts.

    Lawyer Liu Weiguo, who represents Kegui, are being summoned tonight (Beijing time) by Chinese state security “for a talk.”

    • MAC says:

      I would hope that the involvement of state security would mean that this has gone to a high enough level that higher-ups can restrain the instincts of the local thugs to abuse/torture those involved. But maybe that is just more “Grandpa Wen will makes things right” wishful thinking.

      • Yaxue C. says:

        MAC, I certainly hope those local thugs, inside and outside the government, will realize that, now that CGC is gone and demanding for punishment of the local perpetrators, retaliate the family will make no sense to them. Than again, everything they have done to Chen and his family for over seven years makes no sense.

  14. Pingback: Chen Guangcheng’s nephew Chen Kegui fears village guards will attack | Old News

  15. Yaxue C. says:

    Guardian reports from Dongshigu about the multiple arrests of Chen Guangcheng’s family. Kegui’s whereabouts remain unclear and wife is in hiding for fear of apprehension:

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/30/chen-guangcheng-nephew-flees?cat=world&type=article

  16. Yaxue C. says:

    广州陈武权律师 :昨晚我回到济南后,受到约谈,情况比较严重,行动和言论均受限制,恐难以继续工作。所以请你和其他几位律师尽快联系接手此案,以免委托人权益受损,民众失望。(刘卫国律师于五月一日凌晨五点半发给我的短信,现刘卫国律师电话关机,怀疑被控。)

    Lawyer Chen Wuquan, one of the lawyers representing Chen Kegui, posted in Weibo the following test message from Lawyer Liu Weiguo who has been looking for Kegui the last couple of days:

    “Last night when I returned to Jinan [济南, provincial capital of Shandong province], I was summoned by authorities for a talk. My situation is pretty bad with my movement and speech being limited. I am afraid I can’t continue to do my work. I ask you and the other lawyers to move to take over the case as soon as you can, so as to protect the rights of our client and meet the expections of the public.”

    Lawyer Chen Wuquan notes that “I received the above text message from lawyer Liu Weiguo 5:30am, May 1st. Now his phone is powered off. I suspect he has been controlled.”

    The link to Chen Wuquan’s post is already broken.

  17. Pingback: Lawyers volunteer to defend dissident Chen Guangcheng’s nephew - News of 2012 | News of 2012

  18. Pingback: Lawyers volunteer to defend dissident Chen Guangcheng’s nephew | Moridin WP Demo

  19. Yaxue C. says:

    From Dongshigu (东师古), Guardian’s Tania Branigan covers what the authorities are doing to Chen Guangcheng’s family:

    http://guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/30/chen-guangcheng-nephew-flees?cat=world&type=article

  20. T says:

    So what can be done with the current state of affairs? It seems the current US administration has officially ousted themselves in their Chamberlain approach to Chinese affairs. I was not surprised they leaned on a bit for Chen Guangcheng to make the right thing happen in the interests of USA, which is don’t rock the boat that feeds US Treasury. After all there is absolutely nothing positive politically or economically in having Chen Guangcheng anywhere near US jurisdiction since China is the largest debt holder of US Treasury. Remember the saying “nations have no permanent friends, but only permanent interest”? It is vital for Hillary Clinton and Tim Geithner to secure Chinese co-operation in continuing their purchase of US treasury bonds so as to avoid a repeat of last August where US government nearly defaulted on its debt obligations with only 1 day to spare.

    In fact the Chinese government and US government are more aligned than ever these days. The reason is simple: both governments now cater to special interests that runs out of multinational corporations such as Microsoft and others who have vested interested in seeing both sides of Pacific to continue their cooperation for the benefit of their shareholders. The Chinese Communist Party exist only in name and this fact cannot be made more clear by the ouster of Bo Xilai. If Hillary Clinton had any inclination to support Chinese democracy in the past she would have more strongly supported Google’s fight with Chinese government back in 2010 instead f letting Google, a multibillion dollar American Corporation be pushed aside into Hong Kong, whose service is still not up 100% of the time in China today.

    In February of this year Wang Lijun who arguably is a much better intelligence asset for CIA given his position as top cop for Bo Xilai and his reputation as a “phone-tap” freak of even the top echelon of CCP was given the exact same treatment at US consulate in Chongqing, despite the fact Mr Obama was also consulted during his 36 hours stay. It makes plain for all to see what the current US administration’s true priority is these days.

    So what can people interested in Chinese democracy do these days? Absolutely nothing and this is by economic design. One only has to look back into history to deduce democracy can only come about during a rising economy, where the ruling elite has sufficient resources to let economic benefits to flow to majority of population in exchange for their broad support. The rise of Roman Empire was a perfect example: it reverted back to authoritarian rule during the Augustus Caesar and finally went into decline and demise 300 years later. It can be argued Western democracy came about after Renaissance due to the suddenly increased resources from colony world afforded the ruling elites to purchase consent from the majority of population rather that dictating consent that cost less resources, followed by the industrial revolution and the oil boom in early 20th century. However this era of growth has now come to an end, so it is natural to expect even the Western hemisphere to revert back to authoritarian rules within the next generation. After all when resources dry up the population number has nowhere to go but down, and you simply cannot have democracy and reduce the population at the same time due to dwindling global resources.

    In other words poor Mr Chen Guangcheng does not have the full picture so he picked an untenable political position that make him increasingly marginalized in the world. By defending women’s right to have more babies in a resource constrained planet he will ultimately lead to the starvation of millions adults through hunger and warfare. Yes forced abortion seems horrid when viewed in isolation, but compared to forced genocide through war which is clearly coming BTW, given 25% unemployment rates in Southern Europe these days, it is so much more humane. If only Mr Chen can be enlightened to allow millions of Chinese baby to never be born into our resource constrained world his quality of life in China would have become much better.

    What Chinese democracy activists can to these days is educate Chinese government: yes they have the right strategy, but the wrong implementation. They should be educating people more, not making examples out of the living. And forget about democracy: it is past sold by date already, until space exploration allows the human race to continue beyond this resource constrained planet.

    • Lorin Yochim says:

      You’re on to something RE the U.S. position vis a vis China. Also, the historical perspective on the rise of democracy has some value, although it should be pointed out that it denigrates the role of opposition/protest to make exiting economic relations unviable. As to the Malthusian perspective, besides being empirically false, it is a dangerous path to walk down. Perhaps your second to last paragraph was written in an ironic spirit, but I can’t imagine a more effective outing of the difficulty with Malthus. I’m not sure what to say about the idea that democracy is “past sold by date already.” If you’d care to define “democracy,” I’d have something to go on.

      • Lorin Yochim says:

        i.e. “to making existing economic relations unviable”

      • T says:

        I would define democracy as the participation of many to determine their fate instead of the few resulting in policy that benefits many instead of a few. Under this definition US is more democratic than China because in US political participation is tolerated (except in Corporate sphere where red-vs-blue discussions are actively discouraged), so the resulting policies benefits many, but by no means 100% (eg 25% of US children under 18 are excluded from US politics by necessity). No political system can achieve 100% participation period.

        However in US politics the 1% fears the 99% so they attempt to use modern propaganda apparatus and other means to marginalize the 99% in order to secure benefits for themselves during the rising economy of 80s and 90s following the disastrous stagflation period of 70s. Their approach is simply by advocating unregulated free market economics to dismantle the last bastion of post-WWII Keynesian economics and reduce the government’s footprint secured by “1000s cuts” (taxes) starting from President Reagan. The belief is as government yields more power private sectors could make better informed decisions for themselves. However this viewpoint neglects 1 important aspect: US does not live in isolation from the rest of the world, so as US government power is continuously marginalized, what fills the vacuum is not private enterprise but other governments such as China whose rise at the same time US superpower declines during the same period. In other words the US ruling elite has been marginalizing US democracy (which by definition should benefit the 99%) for the last 30 years, and it will continue to do so as evident by the continued marginalization of the “occupy wall street” movement.

        What I found surprising is the general belief that Chinese activist must remain in China to do good, while nothing could be done in exile or asylum in US. If this continues to be the belief then Chinese activism to change the system is bound for failure: for the simple reason that it is too self-centered. One cannot succeed in any policy movement by begging or lobbying alone. The only way to truly succeed in activism is by give and take. And this can only begin by participation in US politics.

        None of the officials involved in Chen Guangcheng’s case currently has any vested interest in helping him because
        1. US ambassador Gary Locke has a track record of declaring “Martial Law” in 1999 as WA governor during the WTO protest in Seattle which arguably was the last best attempt for US to maintain its superpower status by not giving it away to China through free trade.
        2. Hillary Clinton lost her chance for presidency by standing with Republican’s in support of Iraq invasion that ended up solidifying US’s decline by generating enormous debt owed by US to Chinese. She has her hands full simply to cover her own mess over the last decade.
        3. Mr Obama is a serial compromiser who can’t even get his healthcare bill passed when he controlled both the house and the senate. If he can’t stand up to Republicans what chance does he have when facing off with CCP?
        4. Republicans only support Chen Guangcheng to score points against Mr Obama. They represent the interests of 1% which is undemocratic (because they do not benefit the 99%), and their interests are more aligned with Chinese business elites. It was these people who first handed US power to China so what could be expected from them?

        If we use Israel’s AIPAC as a role model, AIPAC spent their first 20-30 years fostering elections of US officials sympathetic to their cause by funding their election campaign, when these officials were nobody back then. So when these officials are elected they have so many political capitals going back decades tied up with AIPAC they had no choice but to support Israel. In other words AIPAC won not because of a few activists who educated American about Israeli culture, but because it actively participated in manipulated political incentives in US in its favor. I fail to see Chinese activism even approaching this level of sophistication except those Chinese activism sponsored by Chinese national security apparatus in major US based S&P500 corporations. I’m sure some Chinese activists have thought about this in the past but the issue has always been the lack of funding.

        Which brings to my final point: for Chinese democracy to succeed under the current set of rules in US politics Chinese funding must stop or be diverted to groups who does support Chinese democracy. Politics is an extension economics by other means, so unless Chinese economy falters nothing will change. Furthermore given the lack of funding of Chinese democracy activists the only way to truly succeed is by aligning themselves with other groups that do have funding sources, and this can only work by supporting other causes unrelated to Chinese democracy, and be prepared to take decades to achieve this effort.

      • Chopstik says:

        Nope, no conspiracy theories here… Please move along, there’s nothing to see here… Thank you and have a nice day… *sigh*

      • Lorin Yochim says:

        A lot there, but it’s an analysis of politics, @Chopstik, not a conspiracy theory. Anyway, I was just curious why you say the ship of democracy has left the port. It seems you’re disenchanted with what might be called crony democracy (or some such thing) and advocating for a more radical democratic politics.

        I would agree that Chen leaving China wouldn’t mean the end of his potential effectiveness, but the last thing he needs is to be “saved” by Republicans and Democrats. If he is to leave, hopefully the receiving country is one in which radical oppositional politics are possible. It’s clear to me that Chen is a truly organic, grass roots activist. If he does go to the U.S. (or anywhere else, for that matter), hopefully activists in the host country will take advantage of his presence to learn something about activism.

        I also want to say that @Yaxue has restored my faith in the blogosphere to produce new and unique information. Most claims to “scoops” are nothing of the sort.

      • Chopstik says:

        @Lorin, there is some politics in with the conspiracy theory but we’ll agree to disagree on this point.

        And the Chinese government, if it does indeed permit Chen to leave (presumably for the US), it knows that it will strip away much of his legitimacy in the eyes of many Chinese. It has been their pattern to date to ship out activists because, once they are gone, they are then degraded in the eyes of potential Chinese supporters as having left for foreign lands and therefore no longer have a dog in the fight, so to speak. There is a long list of activists who left and were no longer relevant once they did. That is why many have stayed.

        To put another way, would Americans or Canadians take seriously those who offer their (often negative) opinions of the US from the comfy confines of the French Riviera? The Chinese government understands this and the same applies for those in the comfy confines of the US.

      • Lorin Yochim says:

        I’m not arguing the loss of effectiveness, @Chopstik. The pressing question, I think, is of how, once expatriated, an activist like Chen can be most effective in his new homes. One of the ways would be to work in a way that could move the U.S. and, by extension, move China. I’ve suggested before that to criticize the Chinese government without recognizing the complicity of U.S. business interests is to miss the most obvious opportunity. As an example, a boycott of Apple or Google might be more effective than a rally at the Capitol or blog post.

  21. Pingback: Blind Chinese Lawyer Chen Guangcheng Escapes Custody – China Blog News

  22. T says:

    >how, once expatriated, an activist like Chen can be most effective in his new homes

    The answer is staring at our face in the new movie 1911 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772230/ about Xing Hai Ge Ming. Dr Sun Yi Xian was not isolated in San Francisco, he had a well supported network of ex-patriates to launch his ideas and his revolution.

    And China knows this, which is why the consulates actively invite many leaders of expatriate Chinese associations for consulate visits throughout US as well as Britain and most of the Western world. There is a well horned counter-intelligence operation at play here in the form of a good cop/bad cop routine. The good cop argues expatriate Chinese should stop discussing politics (how many times have you heard people from China to say that?), and the bad cops ensure any voice among expatriate Chinese communities are silenced by making sure bad things happen to them as an example to others (for example by applying political pressure on their boss within a multi-national corporation to fire them knowing their boss are probably American and not as activist about Chinese politics as the employees, or simply refusing them visa to go back to China to visit). So far this 2 prong approach has been very effective in isolating and marginalize dissenting voices among expatriate Chinese communities, which is why activists in China are so easily convinced once they were expatriated they had no hope (because of the lack of expatriate community support for them).

    Unless this situation can be changed at the grass root level, Chinese government will always be winning, hence the advocacy for a grass root move in Chinese expat communities into American politics. There are 3 purposes to be served:
    1. It lends support in the age of internet to Chinese activists to be bolder by providing a strong safety net overseas.
    2. It teaches expat Chinese activists the vital political skills in managing activism in a mature democracy such as US in preparation for the day when China does open up its political system.
    3. It ensures Americans do not easily fall prey to the idea that Chinese got something right and being importing some of the same tools such as selective enforcement of laws onto American soils (a great example of selectively enforced American law is the jaywalking law: most legal jurisdictions have laws that fines pedestrians from randomly crossing a street that is not at an intersection but they are almost never enforced by traffic cops via ticketing)

    • Lorin Yochim says:

      All this is very interesting, except that if “the answer” were staring us in the face in the form of movies, all of this would be a very short discussion indeed. With respect to your point 3 above, your example isn’t very helpful. Mature democracies have their own difficulties with selective enforcement. Most here would be familiar with problems of this kind. I think I’ll leave the conversation by repeating one of my points above. Chen Guangcheng has a lot to teach American activists. The little brother with a lot to learn motif is tiresome.

  23. T says:

    Life imitating art. The strongest form of political expression have always been in movies: “Bowling for Columbine”, “Farenheit 911″, “Battle in Seattle”, “The One Percent”, “Inside Jobs”. This is something Chinese activists desperately need to learn to do. In fact learning need to happen both ways: Chen need to quickly learn English and we can all learn from Chen’s approach as well as his missteps: the latest one: “ask to be on Clinton’s plane without checking to make sure Clinton’s plane would be going back to America directly. In fact Clinton is in India now so it makes no sense for Chen to be her entourage to India. An elemental mistake in planning and hasty decision making.”

  24. Pingback: Chen Guangcheng’s Nephew Targeted by Security Forces – China Blog News

  25. Pingback: Chen Guangcheng’s Nephew Might Face Death Penalty | Criminal Attorneys Atlanta

  26. Yaxue C. says:

    NO death occurred in the case of Chen Kegui defended himself against 10+ ppl who broke into his home. 3 were injuried.

    http://www.isunaffairs.com/?p=4911

  27. Pingback: Brother of Chen Guangcheng Escapes Village Ringed by Security | shadowgroup.co.cc

  28. Pingback: Before It's News

  29. Pingback: Silence without violence – How the Party applies pressure to activists and reformers | Seeing Red in China

  30. Pingback: Lawyer Si Weijiang’s Statement Regarding Chen Kegui’s Case | Seeing Red in China

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