04/10/2013, 00.00
CHINA - UNITED STATES
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From exile, Chen Guangcheng accuses Beijing of breaking its promises

Known for his battles against abortion and forced sterilisation in China, the blind dissident after a daring escape managed to leave China with Washington's diplomatic assistance. Despite their pledge, Chinese authorities are persecuting his family. He thanks Christian Bale, says, "He is Batman in reality."

Washington (AsiaNews) - Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese dissident who exposed forced abortions in China, accuses Beijing of reneging on an agreement reached with the United States after his dramatic escape from house arrest in Shandong and a brief stay at the US Embassy. Chen was in Washington to testify before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"Not only has the Chinese government not fulfilled its own promises to me a year ago, but it has also become worse as they have not stopped persecuting my family members," Chen said.

In fact, his nephew, Chen Kegui, has been severely beaten as retaliation for the escape. "This in itself shows that the Chinese communist regime has no intention to change its course," Chen noted.

In April of last year, Chen's flight from his hometown in Shandong led to a diplomatic standoff between China and the United States. He was under house arrest without trial after reporting more than 7,000 cases of sterilisations and forced abortions in his province.

After a period of the US Embassy in Beijing and a meeting with the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chen was given permission to leave China for New York, where he is now studying law.

But the agreement to ensure his family's safety was broken. "Now the United States must report the matter, showing cards in hand that the Chinese government has cheated," Chen said.

Chen also publicly thanked actor Christian Bale, known for his portrayal of Batman in the last trilogy about the superhero. Bale had tried to meet Chen in China, but was prevented and expelled by the communist authorities.

Speaking about the actor, Chen said with a laugh, "Christian Bale isn't only acting as Batman, he is Batman in reality".

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