I just heard that my dear friend, blind activist Chen Guangcheng, will address the nation at the Republican National Convention tonight!! Chen Guangcheng, and his wife, Yuan Weijing, are people of towering heroism. They risked everything to expose the horrific brutality of forced abortion and sterilization in China in 2005. For this, Guangcheng was jailed for years, then confined under house arrest, where he and his wife were tortured. He dramatically escaped house arrest and, after a standoff between the Chinese Communist Party and the U.S. government, was finally allowed to come to the United States with his family.
Those of you who have followed my work from the beginning know that I worked tirelessly for years, building an international movement and advocating at the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament, the British Parliament and the Irish Parliament, and many times on Voice of America, for China to release Chen Guangcheng. When I first met Guangcheng in the U.S., he gave me a hug that lifted me off the floor – despite the fact that his foot was broken! It was the most emotional meeting of my life.
When Guangcheng was languishing under house arrest, the rumor had gone out that he had died of malnutrition. I went onto Voice of America to ask the Chinese people to pray for Guangcheng. Never did I imagine that he and I would one day be interviewed together on Voice of America in D.C. And never in my wildest dreams did I think that he would be addressing the nation at the RNC.
Guangcheng is thoroughly despised by the Chinese Communist Party, because he shamed them before the world by exposing their late-term forced abortion practices. Having Guangcheng speak at the RNC sends a bold message to China: The U.S. will no longer put up with China’s egregious human rights atrocities, but will hold accountable those responsible.
Please join me in watching my dear friend Chen Guangcheng’s speech HERE.