China Pressures New York University to Boot Chen Guangcheng

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 13, 2013   |   11:20AM   |   New York, NY

Chen Guangcheng, known for exposing coerced abortions and sterilizations resulting from China’s one-child policy and enforced by state family planning officials, has been booted from the New York University campus.

Chen received a fellowship to study at New York University after seeking help at the U.S. embassy in Beijing last year to escape China, where he faced imprisonment and house arrest for exposing brutal campaigns of forced abortions.

New York University law professor Jerome Cohen assisted Chen in China after he fled to the U.S. Embassy and assisted him in obtaining a fellowship at New York University. The two had known each other since Chen, a blind attorney, first came to the United States in 2003, before the controversy erupted in China.

Since arriving in the U.S., Chen has stayed at faculty housing along with his wife and children, until now.

According to reports, NYU is booting Chen because the Chinese are giving it grief over its desire to build a satellite campus in Shanghai.

The Post reports that Chinese officials who approved permits for NYU’s expansion in Shanghai did not approve of Chen’s presence at the school.

NYU officials tell the paper, however, that Chen was never meant to stay at the university long-term and that the politics associated with the campus expansion had nothing to do with his ousting.

“If there were outside pressure, why would we have taken him in the first place when his plight was on every front page in the world?” spokesman John Beckman said in a statement to The Post.

Beckman told the paper the university received approval for the Shanghai campus months before Chen arrived at the school.

Since his escape, Chen has criticized China’s human rights records, speaking about it before a U.S. congressional committee. He also has complained that Chinese authorities have reneged on assurances made to U.S. diplomats that his relatives would be treated according to the law.

Last month, Chen Guangfu, Chen Guangcheng’s oldest brother, complained that he and his family were subject to constant harassment by local thugs who beat him, distributed flyers with insulting language and tossed dead animals into the family yard.

Chen Guangfu told The Associated Press last month that he and their mother, Wang Jinxiang, had been granted passports so they can travel outside China. He said they were planning to seek visas and visit Chen Guangcheng in New York.