WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement regarding an Associated Press report on the circumstances surrounding Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng's release from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, where he fled after escaping imprisonment for his opposition to his government's brutal 'one child' policy and other abuses:
"Like millions of other Americans, I have followed the story of Chen Guangcheng with admiration for his courage and concern for his safety and that of his family. I am deeply disturbed by the most recent report by the Associated Press, which suggests Chen Guangcheng was pressured to leave the U.S. embassy against his will amid flimsy promises and possible threats of harm to his family. In such a situation, the United States has an obligation to stand with the oppressed, not with the oppressor. Having handed Chen Guangcheng back over to the Chinese government, the Obama administration is responsible for ensuring his safety. While our economic relationship with China is important and vital to the future of people in both countries, the United States has an obligation to use its engagement with China to press for reforms in China’s human rights practices, particularly with respect to the reprehensible 'one-child’ policy."