Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng makes remarks to the media upon arriving on the campus of New York University on May 19, 2012 in New York City. (Andy Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
DHARAMSHALA, May 30: Blind Chinese activist, Chen Guangcheng, has criticised the Chinese government of failing to uphold its own law, warning Beijing that lawlessness threatens the country’s stability.
"The fundamental question the Chinese government must face is lawlessness. China does not lack laws, but the rule of law," Chen wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday on the New York Times website.
"As a result, those who handled my case were able to openly flout the nation's laws in many ways for many years,” the activis,t who was the focus of a nearly monthlong diplomatic standoff said.
Chen, a self-taught lawyer, served a four-year-and-three-month prison term for helping inhabitants in Linyi, Shandong Province, file a class action lawsuit against the city over its policy of enforced sterilisation and late-term abortions.
After making a daring escape from 19 months of extralegal house arrest on April 20 from his home village Dongshigu, Shandong Province, Chen sought refuge at the US embassy in Beijing.
When he left the embassy on May 2, under the glare of international media, Chen had initially expressed a desire to remain in China, but then, out of security concerns, requested to come to the US to rest and study.
Drawing from his own experiences with the Chinese government, the blind activist signalled that the stability of the Chinese government depended on the development of the rule of law in the country.
"Indeed, China's political stability may depend on its ability to develop the rule of law in a system where it barely exists. China stands at a critical juncture. I hope its new leaders will use this opportunity wisely," Chen wrote in his first op-ed after landing in the US.
"This issue of lawlessness may be the greatest challenge facing the new leaders who will be installed this autumn by the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party,” Chen, who is now a fellow at New York University's law school, added.
Chen Guangcheng in his article insisted that he had not sought political asylum. He plans to speak Thursday at the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan.