While expressing his gratitude at the time, Chen emerged as a frequent and fierce critic of the Obama administration and of Democratic politics in general – with critics accusing him of espousing the views of the Circular Wing and theories. of the plot. Prior to his speech at the RNC, he tweeted a video of a pro-Trump protester degrading a Black Lives Matter display in New York City, with the caption “freedom.”
In his speech, delivered by video at the convention, Chen attacked “the appeasement policies of the old administrations – including Obama and Biden,” which he said had “allowed the CCP to infiltrate and corrode various aspects of the world community ”.
Chen praised Trump for leading the fight “to stop aggression against China” and called on Americans “to support, vote and fight for President Trump for the good of the world.”
Hard on china
Relations with Beijing fell under Trump, who made harshness on China a key part of his re-election campaign.
In a speech on Tuesday, Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke out against Beijing and praised Trump for “raising the curtain on the Chinese Communist Party’s predatory aggression.”
According to the Pew Research Center, Americans on both sides “now see China much more negatively than in the recent past”, with 83% of Republicans polled saying they have an unfavorable view of the country. According to Pew, while Republicans have long been suspicious of Beijing, Democrats have also become more suspicious in recent years – 68% of supporters surveyed said they viewed China unfavorably – so there is a growing consensus on the issue. .
Many Chinese dissidents living in the United States are strong supporters of Trump’s hard line on China. Chen is closely related to Bob Fu, a conservative Christian pastor who described himself as “God’s double agent”. Fu met Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence and praised Trump on social media.
Fu helped Chen leave China and was later involved in securing positions at the Witherspoon Institute, a conservative think tank based in New Jersey, as well as the Catholic University of Washington.
However, not all Chinese dissidents feel the same. Teng Biao, a human rights lawyer who has previously represented Chen, tweeted on Wednesday that “for Chinese human rights defenders, there is no logical consistency in supporting Trump.”
“I am a good friend and (former) lawyer of Chen Guangcheng, but I totally object to what he does,” he said. “I will never support a person who told a dictator to ‘keep building’ the #ConcentrationCamps in #Xinjiang and who called the #Tiananmen democratic movements and the #Hongkong protests a ‘riots’,” Teng said. reference to comments allegedly made by Trump.
‘Enemy of humanity’
In his remarks to the RNC, Chen said, “Resisting tyranny is not easy. I know. ”
“When I denounced the Chinese policy of ‘a child’ and other injustices, I was persecuted, beaten and placed under house arrest by the government,” he said. “In April 2012, I escaped and was accommodated at the American Embassy in Beijing. I am eternally grateful to the American people for welcoming me and my family to the United States where we are now free. ”
Blind from childhood, Chen taught himself the law and engaged in human rights activism, particularly around issues of forced abortions and other abuses related to “politics.” of the only child ”. He was first jailed for four years in 2006, after which he was kept under house arrest for years until his dramatic escape in 2012.
During this period, a CNN crew accompanied actor Christian Bale, then in China promoting a film, to visit Chen. Bale was attacked by a security guard, and the team were prevented from reaching the house where Chen was being held.
In his speech on Wednesday, Chen called the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “an enemy of humanity” which “threatens the welfare of the world,” listing a variety of issues, including the oppression of Muslims. Uyghurs by China in Xinjiang, an ongoing crackdown. in Hong Kong and threats to Taiwan.
Echoing Trump, Chen added that “the coronavirus pandemic, originating in China – and covered by the CCP – has caused massive deaths and social upheaval around the world.”