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Chinese pro-life activist says Beijing pressured NYU to end his fellowship

Catholic World News - June 17, 2013

Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese pro-life activist who came to the US after an international incident in 2012, is losing his fellowship at New York University (NYU), and charges that the school has caved to pressure from the Chinese government.

Chen received a fellowship at NYU as part of a negotiated settlement that allowed him to travel to the US, after he escaped from house arrest and sought asylum in the US embassy in Beijing. Chen and his supporters believe that NYU has declined to renew the position because the school is currying favor with Beijing as it plans to open a new campus in Shanghai. Chen charges that the Chinese government has put “great, unrelenting pressure” on NYU to oust him.

NYU officials deny that they have been influenced by Beijing, saying that Chen was given a one-year fellowship and the term has now expired. Jerome Cohen, a law professor who helped to arrange Chen’s escape, told the Washington Post that the “extraordinary generosity” of the university “could not reasonably be expected to go on indefinitely.” Cohen made his statement from China, where he was visiting.

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  • Posted by: Defender - Jun. 18, 2013 6:30 PM ET USA

    At the time, Mrs Clinton had her back up against the wall and it appeared to all that the NYU offer was hastily put together. Of course, the president could have welcomed Chen to the U.S., but he still hasn't. Chinese money for our government debt and for NYU's China's operations being so important and Chen speaking out about against abortion have made him friendless. This whole thing smells...

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