Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese dissident, endorsed President Trump for reelection and condemned the “tyranny” of the Chinese Communist Party during the third night of the Republican National Convention.
The decision to have Chen speak Wednesday night fit with a common theme throughout the evening: to show Trump’s hard stance against China.
“Standing up to tyranny is not easy. I know,” Chen said. “When I spoke out against China’s one-child policy and other injustices, I was persecuted, beaten, and put under house arrest by the government.”
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is an enemy of humanity. It is terrorizing its own people and it is threatening the well-being of the world,” he added.
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Chen was a human rights activist in China who advocated for the rights of the working class and women. In 2005, he filed a class-action lawsuit against the CCP for enforcing the one-child policy allegedly through forced late-term abortions and sterilizations.
The activist was in and out of prison for several years, before being forced to stay under house arrest in 2010.
“I am forever grateful to the American people for welcoming me and my family to the United States where we are now free,” Chen said Wednesday.
Chen was assisted in fleeing his house arrest by U.S. diplomats, who allowed him safe shelter at the U.S. embassy in Beijing in 2012.
Despite fleeing China with the help of Obama-era diplomats, he has become a supporter of President Trump, approving of his recent hard stance against the CCP.
“The coronavirus pandemic, originating in China and covered up by the CCP, has caused mass death and social upheaval around the world,” Chen said.
“In the same way, the virus of the CCP is threatening the people of the world,” he continued. “The policy of appeasement of former administrations, including Obama and Biden, has allowed the CCP to infiltrate and corrode different aspects of the global community.”
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Chen also pointed to China’s record of human rights abuses, including the treatment of the Uyghurs — a Muslim minority group in the northwest Xinjiang province, where internment camps have reportedly been set up.
There have been reports of forced sterilization and abortions by the Chinese government in the area.
“The U.S. must use its values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, to gather a coalition of other democracies to stop China’s aggression,” Chen said. “President Trump has led on this and we need the other countries to join him in this fight.”
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Earlier this week, Chen posted a video of a pro-Trump supporter dressed as the Statue of Liberty throwing red paint and defacing a Black Lives Matter memorial, with the caption “Freedom.”
Chen supports the strong stance that Trump has taken against China, most recently due to the coronavirus which the president has often called the “China virus.”
He urged Americans Wednesday night to vote for Trump “for the sake of the world.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.