Last year, we wrote a post about Hillary Clinton's tenure at the State Department entitled, "For the Sake of the Victims of Tyranny, No More 'Resets'" -- a rundown of her poor judgment dealing with tyrants in Syria, Iran, Burma and Russia and Cuba.
Add China to the list.
Sadly, this is what awaits Cuba's dissidents under the Obama-Clinton normalization process.
Hillary Clinton and the case of Chen Guangcheng
In a new memoir, the blind dissident says Clinton’s State Department pressured him to take a bad deal with the Chinese government.
Hillary Clinton has described the State Department’s handling of the case of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng as an important achievement during her time at Foggy Bottom — a reminder that “our defense of universal human rights is one of America’s greatest sources of strength.”
But Chen himself was not so impressed.
In his new memoir, the so-called “barefoot lawyer,” who managed against all odds to flee house arrest and seek refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in 2012, writes about feeling extreme pressure from Clinton aides to quickly accept a deal with the Chinese — one that he feared would expose him and his family to more abuse. He suggests that at times he felt as if U.S. diplomats had misled him, and he undercuts Clinton’s assertion in her recent memoir that U.S. officials “had done what Chen said he wanted every step of the way.”
The negotiations over what to do with Chen were happening at a sensitive time — Clinton and other U.S. officials were in Beijing for the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, a major pillar of the Obama administration’s engagement strategy. Although Chen avoids directly criticizing Clinton, he writes that he felt as if her staffers were willing to bend way too far to accommodate Chinese demands.
In one passage, Chen alleges that at an April 27, 2012, meeting of the National Security Council with President Barack Obama, it was decided that his case must not hurt U.S.-China relations, and that he should be prevented from having Internet access — steps “I took to indicate that the White House no longer supported me and that I was to leave the embassy in short order.” The NSC press office declined comment Thursday.
Chen, a largely self-taught activist who challenged the Chinese government on forced abortions and other issues, had been imprisoned for several years on trumped-up charges before being placed under a lengthy and unofficial house arrest, where he was constantly harassed and abused by local officials. Above all, Chen wanted China’s top leaders to investigate his ordeal, punish those responsible for his poor treatment, and ensure that he and his relatives would be safe and free. He writes that he repeated these demands to U.S. officials over and over, but they kept pressing him to accept the deal with the Chinese, saying he might face charges of treason if he didn’t move quickly.
At a certain point, he wrote, “I no longer felt that they were on my side.”
Chen is careful not to sound ungrateful toward the U.S. officials he mentions, but he questions whether they were naive. “I wondered if the Americans fully understood the power Chinese officials have over ordinary citizens,” he wrote. At one point during his often tear-filled experience, he remembers thinking: “When negotiating with a government run by hooligans, the country that most consistently advocated for democracy, freedom and universal human values had simply given in.”
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