Media Conference Call with Jerome Cohen: Tensions in the U.S.-China Relationship

BERNARD GWERTZMAN: Greetings. Welcome to our call-in show. And we have a lot of news to talk about today.

And we’re lucky to have as the speaker Professor Jerome A. Cohen, who’s probably the leading expert on Chinese law in this country. He’s worked in China. He speaks fluent mandarin. And he’s been writing his head off about the human rights problems in China for many years.

And I’m going to launch the first question, which is on the news, which just happened in the last several hours, this — Jerry — Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese dissident who had fled house arrest and somehow miraculously, with the help of his supporters, ended up in the American embassy in Beijing. And the coincidence in timing was fortuitous because Secretary of State Clinton and Mr. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, were on their way to China and they’re there now for these annual security and economic talks.

And a deal apparently was struck with the Chinese government allowing him to leave the embassy, get medical help at the hospital and then to be transferred to another city in China where he’ll be able to study and live with his family.

Can you fill in some details on this?

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