Chen should return to China, Prof. Cohen

Prof. Jerome Cohen

According to Hong Kong media, Prof. Jerome Cohen, who made a great contribution in helping Chen Guangcheng move to America, is of the opinion that Chen should go back to China when he has completed his study, but it depends on the situation there.

SCMP’s Teddy Ng reports that Prof. Cohen said “He (Chen) wants to go back to China, and he should go back to China. That’s our goal. It is hard to be a foreigner here and for a refugee trying to have an impact.” According to Teddy Ng, “Cohen said Chen understood that few activists had had much success trying to influence domestic reform after leaving the country.”

According to Singtao Daily, Prof. Cohen told Hong Kong media in an interview that at first the US government did not want to accept Chen Guangcheng, but due to luck it finally succeeded in taking Chen. He said that though blind, Chen was strong in analysis. Chen would soon begin his study, perhaps next week.

Chen gets a one-year scholarship and will study US and international laws, and comparison of laws. The lessons will be given in Chinese and lots of fine research workers from the PRC and Taiwan will help him.

Prof. Cohen said Chen was lucky to have been able to move to America. At first the Chinese government was not willing to allow him leave for fear that other dissidents would learn from his example. America also wanted Chen to stay in China. Chen could have remained in the embassy or received a special arrangement to study in Tianjin or Shanghai. However neither arrangement was the best choice.

Prof. Cohen disclosed that Chen changed his mind and wanted to leave for America at the hospital because his friend Teng Biao’s persuasion, and the beating suffered by his wife, made him feel unsafe. Though there were lots of contradictions in the whole saga,  there was no conspiracy in it. However, he suspected that there might be an internal power struggle in China, so that Chen might be able to flee to the American Embassy without hindrance.

Prof. Cohen says whether Chen will be able to return to China depends on what he will say in America. Chen is disabled himself. If he fights for the rights and interests of the disabled, there will be opportunity for him to return.

Prof. Cohen, 82, is a well-known China law expert in America. In the 1960s, he interviewed Mainland refugee immigrants in Hong Kong and studied China’s criminal  procedures.

He met Premier Zhou Enlai in his first visit to China in 1972 and was received by Deng Xiaoping in 1977. In addition, he has been Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s teacher.

Categories: Human Rights & Social Issues

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2 replies


  1. May 22 2012 China Daily Mail Headlines « Craig Hill
  2. Chen Guangcheng a true hero, and his escape a tremendous victory « China Daily Mail

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