Chinese activist warns Beijing against suppression

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The Chinese activist who fled to America after taking refuge in the U.S. Embassy last year warned Beijing on Monday that its relentless efforts to crush opposition forces or suppress human rights will only backfire.

Chen Guangcheng said Monday he is convinced that the rapidly growing yearnings for freedoms and human rights among the Chinese will eventually “put an end to the authoritarian rule” in China. Chen spoke at a news conference in Taiwan, where he is making a two-week visit.

Chen evaded questions about his criticism last week of New York University, where he spent the last year as a special student. He alleged that NYU caved to pressure from China’s Communist Party when it asked him to leave, though the school says it had never agreed to anything more than a one-year position.

On Monday, Chen accused Beijing of spending billions of dollars annually to monitor dissidents and activists and put them in jail if they refused to stop their advocacies.

“No other regimes in the world have feared or monitored their own people in such a way,” Chen said.

Chen, a self-taught lawyer who has been blind since birth, had angered local Chinese officials by documenting complaints about forced abortions. He escaped house arrest in his rural town in eastern China’s Shandong province in April 2012.

He sparked a diplomatic crisis between China and the United States when he fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Chinese officials later let him move to the U.S. with his wife and children.

Chen has previously criticized China’s human rights record, and spoke about it before a U.S. congressional committee.

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