What China's Blind Activist Said When He Landed

Chen Guangcheng calls arrival in New York City 'sentimental'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted May 20, 2012 2:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – A blind Chinese activist said yesterday that leaving his homeland and arriving on US soil was strangely nostalgic, the New York Times reports. "I don’t really feel that happy, but rather sentimental,” Chen Guangcheng said near the New York University apartment where he will live. “After all the suffering for years, I don’t have those tearful moments anymore, but I do feel something inside.” He knows "what kind of role" he has to play now, mingling "opportunity and risk."

Chen thanked US and Chinese officials for facilitating his move, but noted that his relatives in China may still be in danger, reports the Guardian. "Acts of retribution may not have abated" in his village, Dongshigu, which remains under official lockdown. "We hope to see a thorough investigation into these events." He also hoped that his comrades back home would give him a break: "For the past seven years, I have never had a day's rest so I have come here for a bit of recuperation for body and spirit."

New York University Professor of Law Jerome Cohen, right, speaks to blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng after his arrival at the campus, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in New York.
New York University Professor of Law Jerome Cohen, right, speaks to blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng after his arrival at the campus, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
Blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng, center, is helped out following a news conference on the campus of New York University, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in New York.
Blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng, center, is helped out following a news conference on the campus of New York University, Saturday, May 19, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
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