【 Reuters 】   Post Date: 8/30/2012
Chen Guangcheng Likely to Visit Taiwan despite Inevitable Outrage from Beijing
Author: Sui-Lee Wu
The blind rights activist, who not long ago made a dramatic escape from captivity in China to freedom in the US, says that he “most likely” will accept the Taiwanese legislature’s invitation to come and address their parliamentary body.  Chen points out that as a free citizen he should have the right to visit any country he chooses.
(Reuters) - Blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng, whose escape from house arrest sparked a diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Washington, said on Tuesday he will "most likely" accept an invitation to visit Taiwan, a move likely to infuriate China.
China considers Taiwan a breakaway province to be unified with the mainland eventually, and by force if necessary. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou told Reuters that relations are at their most stable in 60 years.
Taiwan opposition party legislator Lin Chia-lung will visit Chen in New York, where Chen is studying, on Friday to invited Chen to address Taiwan's parliament on behalf of the party's parliamentary bloc, an official in Lin's office said. The official declined to be named.
"I think I will," said Chen, when asked whether he would accept the invitation. "Whoever invites me, I will accept.
"This is not the most important thing," Chen told Reuters by telephone. "The most important thing is I should have the freedom and the right to go anywhere in the world."
The invitation was a goodwill gesture from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, the official in Lin's office said. Any visit would need Taiwan government approval, since Chen is a mainland citizen, the official added.
Any visit will also present a dilemma for Ma who has pushed close economic engagement with China, but has also come under fire for perceived weakness in speaking out on human rights abuses.
Asked whether he thought a visit to Taiwan would anger China, Chen said: "Governments have no right to get angry with their citizens."
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Key Words: Chen Guangcheng, human rights China, political dissidents China, Taiwan
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