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    Chen Guangcheng Still Waiting for Chinese Passport


    by NTDTelevision

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    Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng said Wednesday the paperwork for his US trip is ready. But Chen is still waiting for his passport that the Chinese authorities have promised to grant him.

    [Chen Guangcheng, Chinese Legal Activist]:
    "(The US) told me all the paperwork is ready. I am just waiting for my passport. I raised the issue with the Chinese authorities on Sunday afternoon, and also talked about it with the visiting central government official on Monday. They said they would process it for me."

    Chen is now recovering in Beijing’s Chaoyang Hospital from an intestinal problem, a broken foot, and other health issues resulting from his escape and 19 months of house arrest. Chen says his broken foot will not stop his travel to the United States.

    Chen became known for exposing forced abortions in his hometown that were carried out under the one-child policy. As a result, Chen was jailed for four years under charges of “obstructing traffic” and put under illegal house arrest for another 19 months.

    The 40-year-old escaped from his home in Linyi Prefecture in Shandong province and took shelter in the US Embassy in Beijing for six days.

    Last Wednesday Chen left the embassy escorted by US diplomats—under the agreement that he’d remain in China.

    Chen then changed his mind—saying he fears for his life and the safety of his family.

    The self-taught legal activist wants to study in the US.

    [Chen Guangcheng, Chinese Legal Activist]:
    "I think I am going to New York University first as it has offered me a fellowship. I want to study law."

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said Chen can study abroad. But it’s still unclear how soon Chinese authorities will let him leave China.