May 3rd, 2012

US Amb. to China: US took “extraordinary steps” to retrieve Chen Guangcheng

In an interview with CNN’s Stan Grant Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke said the U.S. took “extraordinary steps to retrieve [Chen]” and that Chen did “not want to go to the U.S.”

“We took extraordinary steps to retrieve him. We found out that he had escaped, was in Beijing, wanted to talk to us,” Locke said. “We undertook almost like a mission impossible retrieval to bring him into the embassy. And it was very, very clear all along – he wanted to be reunified with his family, he wanted to stay in China, to be a freedom fighter. He did not want to go to the United States.”

Watch an excerpt of CNN’s interview with Amb. Locke here.

Recap of CNN’s coverage of Chen Guangcheng:
Chen Guangcheng and his wife, Yuan Weijing, spoke to Grant from Chen’s hospital room in Beijing early Thursday morning. Chen said he was disappointed with the U.S. government, but that he wants to go to the U.S. as his life is in danger in China. Here’s the transcript of Chen’s interview with CNN.

Wednesday’s edition of AC360° was censored in China, preventing viewers from watching CNN International’s coverage of Chen.

On Tuesday, Grant was part of a CNN team that was chased out of Chen’s home village of Dongshigu in Shandong province by Chinese security.

Last December, a CNN team – including Grant and actor/activist Christian Bale – was roughed up by Chinese security when trying to visit Chen in his hometown.