May 4, 2012
Originally published in Chinese early morning, May 4, 2012 on Weibo and Twitter
Finally, after many, many attempts to call Chen Guangcheng and always getting a busy signal, tonight I reached Guangcheng and had an exchange with him by phone (May 3, Beijing Time,10:58PM-11:40PM). He was as rational and calm as always. He is most worried about my safety, He Peirong’s safety and other friends who helped him escape from illegal detention in Shandong, I was very moved by his concern. I especially emphasized to him the dramatic changes in his attitude reflected in the media from yesterday. He was totally astonished by this and felt very sorry for the pressure on the US Embassy from these reports. Because today there was no way for him to meet and have an exchange with any US diplomat in the hospital (according to Guangcheng, US diplomats tried to visit him but were stopped until 5 PM, after which time they had to leave), direct communication was impossible, hence he authorized me to deliver his four points to the public (not Guangcheng’s exact words, but strictly his idea):
1, Guangcheng didn’t tell any media that he wanted political asylum. What he said is that he just wants to have several months rest in US. He has an invitation from the University of New York and he is a free man, so he is considering traveling to the US and then returning to China. Therefore, there is no change in his intentions. He showed his respect for China-US diplomacy, for their common efforts and discipline, and he is very clear about the importance of diplomacy between the two countries and seriousness of all agreements that have already been reached.
2, He never complained, either directly or indirectly, that the US Embassy “forced” or induced him to leave the Embassy. He left the Embassy voluntarily and appreciates the US Embassy’s help during the past week from his heart. He sincerely appreciates Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ambassador Gary Locke and other diplomats who cared for and helped him. He never blamed anyone, either directly or indirectly.
3, It is true that there was some unpleasantness during his first day in the hospital that brought some inconveniences and agonies to him and his family, so he felt anxious, even nervous at that time. Among these, the worst was threats to his wife Yuan Weijing from officials of his hometown, Shandong Province. He hopes that with attention from international society, the Chinese government will deal seriously and according to the law with local officials of Shandong, who illegally persecuted him and his family for many years.
4, Guangcheng thanks all media for their attention and care, and hopes they can consider his complicated and delicate present situation, and have complete understanding of his expression and some emotions. He doesn’t want to embarrass any friend who has helped him and is continuing to help him or to have a misunderstanding. For example, with regard to help from US Embassy, he never had any criticism; in contrast, he had only great appreciation from his heart.