‘Courting Disaster’: Famed Chinese dissident urges US not to cooperate with The Communist Party

Philip Lenczycki, DCNF

UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect that Chen will be awarded in May by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, just weeks after the 10th anniversary of his escape. It has also been clarified that Chen’s supporters have lauded him for his wide-ranging human rights accomplishments.

A prominent Chinese dissident and human rights lawyer urged the Biden administration not to cooperate with China’s ruling Communist Party.

“Unless cooperation between the U.S. and China is for the promotion of China’s constitution, the rule of law, democracy, freedom, free press or freedom of speech, I don’t think there should be any cooperation, no matter the purpose,” Chen Guangcheng told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Chen’s warning comes as the Biden administration attempts to collaborate with China on issues ranging from climate change to regional security to the war in Ukraine. Most recently, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin held his first-ever meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenge.

During their Wednesday call, the two defense chiefs discussed “U.S.-PRC defense relations, regional security issues, and Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,” according to a Pentagon read-out.

The Biden administration has also made overtures to China on climate change, but with little to no success. U.S. Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry traveled to China last summer to try and convince the Communist Party to strengthen its commitments to cut emissions.

In January 2021, Kerry called climate change a “critical standalone issue that we have to deal on,” signaling that China’s human rights violations wouldn’t prevent the U.S. from cooperating with it.

Chen has warned against any attempts to deal with what he calls a “morally depraved” regime.

“The ultimate result of any such attempted cooperation will be courting disaster because the Chinese Communist Party views any assistance to the U.S. as a conflict of interests.” Chen told the DCNF.

Chen has long been a vocal opponent of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) authoritarian policies. He filed a lawsuit against one-child policy abuses in the province of Shandong, which landed him in prison in 2006. His trial lasted two hours and his attorneys were arrested by state authorities before it began, according to the BBC.

Throughout his four-year sentence, Chen claimed to have endured brutal persecution. The torment only ended when he escaped from house arrest on April 22, 2012. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation announced they will honor Chen with an award in May, just weeks after the 10th anniversary of his escape.

Chen’s supporters, who range from members of Congress to human rights activists, have lauded him for standing up against the Communist regime.

Republican New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith told the DCNF Chen is “one of the greatest human rights defenders of all time.”

“He represents this kind of iconic figure for civil disobedience in terms of rule of law,” Bob Fu, head of ChinaAid, told the DCNF.

Chen also sounded the alarm on CCP influence operations in the U.S.

“We can’t ignore China is burning from this distant shore,” said Chen. “The CCP is beside you, in your university’s engineering school, your newspaper, your television, buying stocks — almost effortlessly changing your life perspective.”

“The CCP’s authoritarian system must be completely destroyed, otherwise the Chinese will be miserable forever,” Chen said. “The CCP is a demonic and murderous system, a machine that makes men more and more evil.”

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