|Dissident Chen Guangcheng in State Dept. photo.|
I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng’s stay and departure from the U.S. Embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values. I was glad to have the chance to speak with him today and to congratulate him on being reunited with his wife and children.
Mr. Chen has a number of understandings with the Chinese government about his future, including the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment. Making these commitments a reality is the next crucial task. The United States Government and the American people are committed to remaining engaged with Mr. Chen and his family in the days, weeks, and years ahead. ---Secretary Clinton’s statement on the crisis on May 2, 2012.
According to an article in the NY Times, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emerged as the star negotiator in the successful resolution of the crisis involving dissident Chen Guancheng. Clinton guided the negotiations in a manner that preserved the ties between the United States and China.
Writing for the Times, Steven Lee Meyers and Mark Landler report:
WASHINGTON — Over two days of meetings with China’s leaders in Beijing last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had not uttered a word about Chen Guangcheng as her aides arranged to transfer the blind Chinese dissident from the United States Embassy to a hospital, only to have the plan unexpectedly blow up. Then, last Friday, she finally broached the subject with China’s senior foreign policy official, Dai Bingguo.
The Chinese were furious. They considered Mrs. Clinton’s request a betrayal of American assurances made during 30 hours of talks. China had insisted on absolute secrecy, demanding no public confirmation that Mr. Chen was in the embassy by any Americans, even members of Congress, whom the Obama administration kept in the dark.
“I don’t want to talk to him anymore,” Cui Tiankai, the vice foreign minister, erupted after Mrs. Clinton intervened, gesturing toward Kurt M. Campbell, an assistant secretary of state and a crucial negotiator.
The confrontation was a pivotal moment in a diplomatic drama replete with unanticipated twists, threats and counterthreats, and at times comical intrigue. Mr. Campbell, for example, took to sneaking out of his hotel in Beijing through an entrance by the garbage bins to avoid public attention.