Chen’s Escape

Remember how batman failed to help Chen, Guang-Cheng (陳光誠, the activist who revealed the cruel methods used by local officials to enforce the one-child policy)? Well, the man had no other choice but to flee his home.

Chen Guangcheng has escaped. According to activists, he is now somewhere “100% safe” in Beijing, though it’s not clear where. There has been some speculation that he might be inside some embassy; so far, the US Embassy has declined to comment and as far as I’m aware no one else has been asked.

The news of Chen’s escape is fantastic, and it’s important to note here that since Chen was released from prison years ago, there’s nothing illegal about this “escape”. The fact is that Chen and his family were being held illegally, and talk of Chen’s “escape” implies he’s guilty of some crime or evading the law in a way that might be misleading. But Chen is free, reportedly, and that’s a good thing. It should have been true years ago.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Chen’s family…

Here’s a copy of the video he released to Premier Wen, Jia-Bao (溫家寶) with three demands:

  1. 依法嚴懲罪犯 (Local officials who assaulted his family should be prosedcuted.)
  2. 依法保障家人安全 (His family’s safety must be guaranteed.)
  3. 依法懲治腐敗 (Prosecute corruption cases under the law.)

To me, the tone, and choice of language he used was very meek. There’s a part where he lists out certain people by name who came in to beat his family, and when asked who sent them, they denied they were from the municipality, and were actually sent by the party (not sure from what level of the party). Chen says that he doesn’t believe their words, and continues to ask the Premier for help. At first I thought, “WTF? Are you really naive enough to believe that?!” But then of course, if he had went on with saying “I don’t believe any of you fuckers, peace out!!!” I don’t think it would have helped his family any bit. The local government can only have as much power as the people give to it. Sounds to me, like it’s time for an uprising – Wukan style!

UPDATE April 28, 2012
So this is a good article on why there won’t be an “uprising – Wukan style“:
In Chen Guangcheng Case, Following the Money

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that corruption was involved, of course, but from what Chen describes it sounds as though part of the motivation for Chen and family’s detention could be economic. Or, to be more specific, part of the motivation for Chen’s continued detention could be economic. I imagine the initial decision to keep him under house arrest was motivated primarily by petty vindictiveness, but from Chen’s description, it seems his detention has created an economy of sorts in his small village and beyond.

This is Dongshigu, the village where Chen and his family live. As you can see (note the scale in the map) it is quite small, and surrounded by farmland…

you can refer to the website above…

…As Chen himself notes, his imprisonment has created hundreds of well-paying jobs for local villagers, not to mention plenty of opportunities to make money on the side (I’m sure all those guards get hungry). As Chen also explains, anyone above the bottom of the guard organization is probably making additional money on the side by skimming from the money that’s handed down to pay the guards.

In other words, there’s an economic impetus for many people in the village participate in and perpetuate the imprisonment of the Chen family. And in a small farming village, the difference between 50 RMB a day and 90 RMB a day can be enormous. It’s no surprise the Linyi authorities haven’t had any trouble finding guards or — as far as I’m aware — met much resistance from villagers in the surrounding area.

May 2, 2012
Chen has been released from the US Embassy, and is re-united with his family in BeiJing.
Here’s to celebrating Chen’s genius in his choice of words, and how miraculously he managed to pull it off:

Question remains: Is He, Pei-Rong, the person who helped Chen escape, alright?


13=阝12=口 J=丁 (阿)
L=氵 Z=工 (江)
–1312JLZ (阿江)
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