By Erik Crouch
“If we want to have hope in China, the hope is with the people.” It sounds like Chen Guangcheng has been reading some Orwell: “If there is hope, it lies in the proles.” (1984) Rounding out his Washington D.C. visit with a PBS interview, Chen Guangcheng speaks about China’s challenges as well as his hope for the country’s future.
Chen, overall, is optimistic about China’s years to come. Today’s oppressions, he believes, will cause the social movements of tomorrow. Nevertheless, he isn’t exactly excited about China’s present direction, saying, “new leaders have come in but the team, really, is the same. I would not expect too much.” He also states that the Chinese government has spent US$17-18 million dealing with his escape and its aftermath, yet were unable to prevent him from reaching the United States.
This interview represents the first time in months that Chen Guangcheng has appeared without an A-List celebrity escort. (apologies to Ray Suarez, but keep trying!)