Radio Netherlands Worldwide

SSO Login

More login possibilities:

  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
Thursday 18 December  
Chen Guangcheng
Hilversum, Netherlands
Hilversum, Netherlands

Chen Guangcheng: we must not wait for a “virtuous ruler”

Published on : 21 May 2013 - 11:11am | By RNW China Desk ((C) RNW)
More about:

Blind Chinese activist, Chen Guangcheng, made headlines around the world when he escaped house arrest and fled to New York with the help of U.S. officials. One year later, the media spotlight may have moved on, but Chen is still actively committed to the fight for human rights. 

Speaking to RNW during his recent visit to Europe, Chen said he believes the political situation in China is bound to change eventually. He was in Europe to meet with European Parliamentarians and heads of government. Discussion about human rights issues and religious freedom in China culminated in the launch of the transatlantic Defending Freedoms Project at the European Parliament in Brussels. During a session entitled Inevitable Change for China Chen made a speech urging the European Parliament to press Beijing to improve human rights and strengthen the rule of law. 

Talking gibberish
Talking about the visit, Chen said it was time for serious concern about the situation in China. “Many human rights talks in the past decade turned out to be gibberish. We all knew these talks could lead nowhere, but they went on nevertheless. This is precisely what the dictators want. The influence of Western democracies on China has been weakened. Human rights concerns have given way to trade and commercial interests. We’re already witnessing the consequences of this weakening.”

Chen hopes his project might help bring about change,. Defending Freedoms links members of the US Congress and MEP’s with Amnesty International and Christian human rights group ChinaAid. The project aims to challenge Beijing’s emphasis on economic diplomacy and trade-based international relationships.  

Fine words, broken promises
In March, the Chinese communist party formed a new Politburo and Xi Jingping was elected as the new party chief. Xi promised to bring about changes in the government and society but Chen is not optimistic He warns that people should not be fooled by fine words, as past experience has shown  that the regime rarely lives up to its promises. 

“It’s important to watch what they actually do. So far, the authorities still have the power to detain citizens illegally without going through the judicial system. A new bill has been passed allowing the police to infringe on a citizen’s personal freedom. It is futile to expect the new leadership to bring changes.” 

Fight for freedom
Chen also refuted the Confucian notion of a “virtuous ruler” with its emphasis on the  importance of a ruler’s personal integrity rather than just laws to govern a country. “People should not invest hope in a virtuous ruler to give them a better future. They must fight for that future themselves. We don’t know yet whether large scale bloodshed can be avoided in the struggle, but we hope to minimise the sacrifice.”

As for internet censorship, Chen recently called on Beijing to “tear down the internet Berlin Wall”. He is positive that official attempts to censor information will ultimately fail. Censorship can only delay the circulation of information. With the advancement of technology, negative information about the government will eventually reach the people.  

Longing for justice
Chen is currently studying law at New York University. He told RNW that he expects to publish his memoirs next March and he is also setting up a foundation to promote social justice and the free circulation of news and information. 

With Chen settled in the U.S., his relatives in China are being harassed and prosecuted by the authorities. His nephew, Chen Kegui, was jailed for assaulting a local official in a conflict at the end of last year. His brother was beaten and restricted from communicating with the outside world. Although generally admired as an activist in the West, the Chinese authorities portray Chen as a pawn of “foreign anti-Chinese forces” aiming to sabotage the state.

Despite all this, Chen dreams of returning to China one day. “Chinese people long for the rule of law, justice, conscience and humanity”, he says, “but the dictatorship refuses them what they desire. Those who are brave enough to tell the truth and call for justice must pay a heavy price for their bravery. This is the fundamental difference between Chinese and Western society. But it will not last forever.”




anisa 17 December 2014 - 3:08am

Nice work, may god always be in our hearts

dan lai 16 December 2014 - 4:01am
Anonymous 13 December 2014 - 6:32am / canada
japan.comp234 13 December 2014 - 3:27pm

Thank you again for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article, it's quite inspiring I should admit. I like visiting you site since I always come across interesting articles like this one.Great Job, I greatly appreciate that.Do Keep sharing! Regards,

Anonymous 4 December 2014 - 8:17am / Indonesia

Just keep publish what you are enthusiastic about, and the readers will come to your posting. ace maxs

yantihae 25 November 2014 - 4:22am

nice to meet you.. this is a good article.. obat jantung bocor pada anak

obat bronkitis paling ampuh 24 November 2014 - 7:47am / indonesia
japan.comp234 13 December 2014 - 2:13pm

I was reading your article and wondered if you had considered creating an ebook on this subject. Your writing would sell it fast. You have a lot of writing talent.

japan.comp234 16 December 2014 - 10:00am

The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing..

franklin7 28 October 2014 - 4:59pm

The way of writing is excellent and also the content is top-notch. Thanks for that insight you provide the readers!

Anonymous 16 October 2014 - 10:58am / pakistan

Great, thanks for sharing this blog article. Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic. billige smartphones

willliom 26 November 2014 - 10:07am

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.
blog comments service

willliom 30 November 2014 - 10:35am

Love what you're doing here guys, keep it up!..

willliom 2 December 2014 - 12:54pm

Hi! Thanks for the great information you havr provided! You have touched on crucuial points!
Empath Articles

willliom 2 December 2014 - 2:34pm

Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You !!!!
wejdź na

willliom 2 December 2014 - 3:50pm

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

willliom 6 December 2014 - 2:36pm

I think this is a really good article. You make this information interesting and engaging. You give readers a lot to think about and I appreciate that kind of writing.
how to get your ex to really miss you

willliom 7 December 2014 - 10:22am

Wow what a Great Information about World Day its very nice informative post. thanks for the post.

willliom 7 December 2014 - 11:15am

Very useful post. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up.
voyance gratuite en ligne tarot

willliom 8 December 2014 - 11:18am

Great post, and great website. Thanks for the information!
Psychic Topics

willliom 9 December 2014 - 11:08am

i read a lot of stuff and i found that the way of writing to clearifing that exactly want to say was very good so i am impressed and ilike to come again in future..
Ottawa Movers

willliom 9 December 2014 - 12:02pm

I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post.

willliom 9 December 2014 - 1:11pm

I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well.
how to keep my man happy in a relationship

Post new comment

Please be reminded all comments must be in English, short and to the point - guideline 250 words. Abusive and inappropriate comments will be removed.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

RNW on Facebook

RNW Player

Video highlights

Ladies on the move
RNW is keen on featuring inspiring women in our target countries, women who...
What about men?
In many countries, men don't stick around to raise their children. This is...