Chen Guangcheng, a blind legal activist, is a forced abortion opponent who recently escaped house arrest in China and is now at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing seeking asylum. How will the Obama administration respond in light of the tension this situation creates with U.S.-China relations and casts a shadow over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Beijing?
Time reports how the Obama administration has handled such cases before – hand them back. Mitt Romney has called on Obama to work to protect Chen. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who is the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the Senate Appropriations Committee recently issued a statement and said:
I cannot think of a more defining moment to push China to embrace a more progressive platform on human rights than by standing with Chen Guangcheng. Mr. Chen deserves our admiration and respect for his work, at great personal sacrifice, in speaking out against China’s continued practice of forced abortions and sterilizations. The Obama Administration should work to protect his safety, the safety of his family, and the safety of others associated with him. His cause should be our cause.
Senator Graham is right, this is a defining moment for Obama, will he work to appease China or will he stand for human rights? President Obama has stated time and again that he is pro-choice. Logically he should be opposed to China’s practice of forced abortions and sterilizations as well as they do not offer a choice. He can make the right statement here and push China toward democratic reform and the respect of basic human rights, and I hope that he does.