Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, also known as the barefoot lawyer for being self-taught legal activist, lauded Trump’s leadership in standing up to the Chinese Communist Party during his Republican National Convention (RNC) speech on day 3.
“The U.S. must use its values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law to gather a coalition of other democracies to stop CCP’s aggression,” Chen told the Republican National Convention Wednesday, referring to the Chinese Communist Party. “President Trump has led on this and we need the other countries to join him in this fight.”
Chen’s speech highlights Trump’s focus on China as a campaign issue. Echoing Trump’s labeling of the coronavirus as the “China virus,” Chen referred to it as the virus of the CCP.
In his prepared remarks, Chen had planned to criticize what he called the “policy of appeasement” of the Obama-Biden administration — the same administration that secured his release from Chinese house arrest in 2012. That section was cut from his final speech.
The blind human rights activist spent more than four years in a Chinese prison before escaping house arrest and taking refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. His case brought bipartisan condemnation of Chinese human rights abuses, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was so instrumental in his release that Chen reportedly told her, “I want to kiss you.”
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