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Wang Chunmei and the families of her four sisters have been petitioning in Beijing since 2008, after they were forcibly removed from their home in Dalian to make way for new construction developments. After blind rights activist Chen Guangcheng received refuge at the US Embassy earlier this year, Wang's family also decided to try to reach US officials at the embassy. They have tried to visit the embassy a total of thirty times.
Recently, Wang Chunyan, the elder sister of Wang Chunmei, was taken into custody by authorities. On June 30 last year, Wang Chunyan met with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Premier Wen Jiabao. Wen was visiting the waiting room of Beijing South Railway Station. Wang had the opportunity to shake his hand, and then handed him a thick stack of petition materials. Wen promised her, "I will read the materials seriously."
After many days of waiting with no news, Wang Chunyan and her family were full of despair. They had expected so much.
[Wang Chunmei, Petitioner]:
"The Dalian Municipal Office in Beijing mentioned that my problem can never be solved, even if you have a chance to see Wen Jiabao. They always say something like that and keep the pressure against us. Therefore, we have no choice. If we have to die, we prefer to die in front of the US Embassy."
Commentator Shida says this incident shows that Chinese petitioners have nowhere to go; all they can do is seek help from foreign governments.
Even though Wang Chunyan was able to submit petition materials directly to Premier Wen Jiabao, one month later her younger brother was attacked by officials of the Dalian Municipal Office in Beijing receiving a perforated eardrum. Now Wang Chunyan is left frustrated that even meeting one of the CCP's top officials cannot lead to a solution.