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China seeks US apology for sheltering dissident

China,Diplomacy,Immigration/Law/Rights, Wed, 02 May 2012 IANS

Beijing, May 2 (IANS) China has demanded an apology from the US for taking a blind Chinese man "via abnormal means" into its embassy in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry said Wednesday.


Chen Guangcheng entered the US embassy in Beijing in late April and left of his own volition after a six-day stay at the embassy, said foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin.


The Western media says Chen is a Chinese dissident while China's state-run news agency described him as a native of Yinan county in Shandong province.


The blind dissident had escaped from house arrest in April and released a video meant for Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in which he made three demands, including tackling corruption in the country.


Liu said: "It should be pointed out that Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese citizen, was taken by the US to the US embassy via abnormal means, and the Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with the move."


He stressed that China demands that the US thoroughly investigate the event, hold relevant people accountable and ensure that such an event does not happen again.


"The US has interfered in the domestic affairs of China, and the Chinese side will never accept it," said the spokesman.


"The US embassy in Beijing has the obligation to observe relevant international laws and Chinese laws, and it should not do anything irrelevant to its function," said the spokesman.


China noted that the US has expressed the importance it attaches to China's demands and concerns and has promised to take necessary measures to avoid similar events, he said.


Chen had been under house arrest since he was released from a four-year jail sentence in 2010. He sneaked out of his home in Dongshigu town on a Sunday, say rights activists.


His video was posted on Boxun, a Chinese dissident news website hosted in the US.


The dissident has demanded that Wen investigate and prosecute local officials who beat up his family members, ensure the safety of his family, and deal with corruption in China, BBC had reported.


Chen, who became blind while a child, is known for exposing rights abuses under China's one-child policy.


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