US, China forge tentative deal on Chinese activist

Bài của Đài Bắc Thời báo

image Hoa Kỳ và Trung Quốc đạt được thỏa thuận tạm (tentative deal) về vụ nhà hoạt động nhân quyền

AP, BEIJING

The U.S. and China forged the outlines of a deal (đạt được các nét chính cho một thỏa thuận) Friday to end a diplomatic standoff (sự giằng co về ngoại giao) over legal activist Chen Guangcheng (陳光誠), with Beijing saying he can apply to go abroad for study and Washington saying he has been offered an American fellowship (học bổng tu nghiệp).

After three days of fraught, behind-the-scenes and emotional calls by Chen from a guarded hospital room, (phòng bệnh viện bị canh giữ) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said progress had been made in granting (dành cho) the activist’s wish (mong muốn) to take his family abroad.

She said she was encouraged (cảm thấy khích lệ) by a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement that said Chen may apply to leave the country. Chen has been offered a fellowship at an American university and may take his family, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, adding that the U.S. expects Beijing to quickly process (giải quyết các thủ tục giấy tờ) their travel permits (giấy phép được đi ra nước ngoài), after which U.S. visas (thị thực) would be granted.

Over the course of the day (ngay trong ngày), progress has been made (đã có các tiến bộ) to help him have the future that he wants, and we will be staying in touch with (giữ liên hệ thường xuyên với) him as this process moves forward (tiến trình này xảy ra thuận lợi),’’ Clinton said speaking to reporters after two days of annual strategic talks (đối thoại chiến lược) in Beijing.

The quickly announced steps were positive signs that the governments were nearing a deal (đi đến gần một thỏa thuận) to end one of their most delicate  (tế nhị) diplomatic crises in years.

The concession (sự nhượng bộ) was offered in a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement while Chen remained in a guarded Beijing hospital ward, unable to see US officials. His wife’s movements are being monitored, he said, and the couple with their two children feel in danger (cảm thấy bị đe dọa).

On Thursday, several of his supporters and family members were beaten up (bị đánh đập) outside the hospital when they tried (tìm cách, cố) to see him.

“I can only tell you one thing: My situation right now is very dangerous,” Chen said. “For two days, American officials who have wanted to come and see me have not been allowed in.”

A blind, self-taught lawyer (mù, tự học) and symbol of China’s civil rights (quyền dân sự) movement, Chen embroiled Washington and Beijing in their most delicate diplomatic crisis in years after he escaped house arrest (quản chế tại nhà) and sought refuge (tị nạn) in the US embassy last week. He left six days later under a negotiated deal in which he and his family were to be safely relocated in China so he could formally study law. However, he then upended (bổng thay đổi) the agreement by saying they wanted to go abroad.

Chen was released (cho tự do) to a Beijing hospital where he was reunited with his wife, son and daughter.

On Thursday, he called in to a congressional hearing (buổi điều trần của quốc hội) in Washington, telling lawmakers he wanted to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is in Beijing for annual security talks.

“I hope I can get more help from her,” Chen said.

While publicly (trong chỗ công khai) Washington has said little and Beijing has shown little inclination to budge (lay chuyển), contacts have taken place. Clinton met Chinese President Hu Jintao (Hồ Cẩm Đào) (胡錦濤) and other top leaders, though officials declined to say if Chen’s case was discussed. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement was among the first signs of progress. (dấu hiệu có sự tiến bộ). In it, a spokesman said Chen, as a normal citizen, may apply to study overseas (nộp đơn xin đi học nước ngoài).

“As a Chinese citizen, if he wants to study abroad he can go through the normal channels (đường thông thường) to the relevant departments (bộ ngành liên quan) and complete the formalities (hoàn tất các thủ tục) in accordance with (theo đúng) the law like other Chinese citizens,” the statement said, without elaborating (mà không nói gì thêm).

While the statement only reiterates the normal rights of a Chinese citizen, it underscored (nhấn mạnh) the government’s openness (sự cởi mở, sẵn sàng) to letting him go and gives shape to a possible solution: He goes abroad with the approval of the Chinese government, not the US, giving Beijing a face-saving way out.

 

At a press briefing (họp báo ngắn), Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Liu Weimin (劉為民) said that Chen faces no pending criminal charges, indirectly acknowledging that (gián tiếp thừa nhận rằng) the house arrest he and his family endured for the past 20 months in their rural home was the retribution (sự trả thù) of local officials for Chen’s activism. Chen has exposed forced abortions (bắt buộc phá thai) and other abuses in his community as part of China’s population controls (kiểm soát dân số)


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