Chen's friend refutes earlier criticism of U.S. Embassy
Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng Wednesday at a Beijing hospital, where he received care for an injured foot.
May 4th, 2012
08:26 AM ET

Chen's friend refutes earlier criticism of U.S. Embassy

Update:  U.S. says Chen Guangcheng has been offered a fellowship to study in the United States and China will allow him to travel. See CNN's latest reporting on the Chen affair here

By Jill Dougherty

As criticism intensified over the Obama administration's handling of Chen Guangcheng's case, the State Department released a translation of his friend's Twitter post in which the Chinese activist denies he wanted political asylum and says he was not forced out of the U.S. Embassy.

The post by his friend Guo Yushan also says Chen wants to go to the United States "to rest for a few months."

Calling the existing Web translations of Guo's Twitter post "uneven," the State Department translation quotes him as saying he talked with Chen by phone after failing to reach him several times because "the line was always busy."

Guo says he mainly talked with Chen about the "dramatic change of his attitude reported by the media yesterday and today."

Chen, he says, "was very surprised and felt extremely sorry for the pressure brought to the relevant parties, including the U.S. Embassy."

"(Chen) never said to the media that he wanted political asylum," he says. “He only said he wanted to go to theU.S.to rest for a few months. He has a letter of invitation from the New York University, and he is a free person. He wants to go to the U.S. for travel for a while and then come back. Therefore, this is not a change of mind."

In a previous interview with CNN, Chen said embassy officials "kept lobbying me to leave" and said he was "disappointed" in the U.S. government.

But Guo says Chen told him he "never directly or indirectly criticized the U.S. Embassy nor did he say he was "forced" to leave.

"He walked out of the embassy on his own free will," Guo says.

Chen "is grateful to the U.S. Embassy for the help in the past week. He is grateful to Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, Ambassador Gary Locke and other diplomats who have helped him. He never directly or indirectly cast any blame."

Guo says in the first day in the hospital, "some unpleasant things happened" that made Chen and his family "anxious and nervous," especially a threat to his wife from some officials from their village.

Chen hopes, he said, that "under massive attention from global public opinion, the Chinese government can abide by the law and deal properly with Shandong local officials' illegal persecution on him and his family."

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. OFF TRACK BETTING BROKE OBAMA CAMP

    the guy from china is in control of china and the guys wife is in control of china , and hillary and the other obama camp players will return to the USA empty handed. The mid night oil and tax payers coin to go to china to try to score political points at the polls in america is a huge failure .

    THE OBAMA CREW WILL TRY TO SPIN THEIR WAY OUT OF IT , BECAUSE THEY THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE FOOLS.
    well the obama crew cannot even get a visit with the china guy now, and who knows what is happening to his family ?
    anything that is said now is under the control of threats, one has to understand that this guy is under unthinkable dangers to himself and his family , so what ever is said now does not mean a thing.

    May 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  2. RetiredVet

    This guy got what he wanted for his own benefit, he played the US government (big suprise) and the Chinese government, he now has a fellowship to a US university for him and his family and will most likely get a Nike or Ray-Ban endorsement out of the deal.

    May 4, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
  3. take it deep

    ehhh, china is not all mighty as everyone seems to believe, they have a small professional army and the rest are on horseback, they cannot sustain a conflict anywhere other than in their own region, they don't have the fuel and other resources to fight like the usa, does anyone understand that when a military goes to war they require tons of food, fuel and money, china doesn't have it, they recently adopted the us military strategy of becoming a "global force" they put their first international base in pakistan with hopes of spreading, three words show china's current strength but possible demise "MADE IN CHINA" – what would happen if we stopped buying their crap, they would collapse, but in their defense a bunch of Mr Chen's issues with the country are bs and china is right in their actions, china is leading the world in its policies about population control, too many people are a threat to the planet, they are right to require their people to have only one child, if a women has one child she contributes to population decline, two is sustaining the numbers and anymore contributes to an increase, what do we do when the deer population gets to large, we kill them because they will eat up the forest and leave nothing of value, to think humans are the exception is beyond me, we have the largest impact on the planet thus we should endevour to cut our numbers, it is the simplest solution to all the environmental problems we face in the comming future, so i think they are right, a planet with 7 billion is pretty hard to feed as is, and very few live the life of a us citizen, imagine a planet with countires developing to us standards (energy, food and what not) and growing at the same time, what will we do, grow our corn like jack & the beanstock, maybe we will develop sub-luminal energy and get out to the far planets to tap their resources, i think those are possibilities but far fetched, the rational solution is to cut our numbers to about 1 billion, and it would not take that long when you consider one generation being born every year with no siblings and one generation passing with 3-5 siblings

    May 4, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
  4. Catamount

    The US has a 16 trillion dollar debt, five trillion attributable to Obama, substantially owned by China. Lecturing China on Human Rights? That's like losing your retirement savings to a Vegas bookie and lecturing the muscle on the evils of gambling when they show up to beat you down.

    Debt is biggest threat to national security, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mullen said 22 Sept 2011.

    May 4, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply

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