AMBASSADOR GARY LOCKE Interview With Karson Yiu of ABC News So Ambassador, ABC News was able to talk to Chen Guangcheng earlier this morning. And he told us that U.S. officials were blocked from being able to see him.
Ambassador to China
Ritz Carlton Hotel
QUESTION: So Ambassador, ABC News was able to talk to Chen Guangcheng earlier this morning. And he told us that U.S. officials were blocked from being able to see him. Were U.S. officials able to see him today?
AMBASSADOR LOCKE: Well, actually, our first scheduled visit was for tomorrow, but we have talked with him twice today, and his wife even came out of the hospital to talk with my deputy at great length. Our doctors have been in constant contact with his doctors, conferring what was a medical test. Today was always meant to be a day of medical tests.
QUESTION: And did you get any update on how – what his – what he’s thinking, what his current status is?
AMBASSADOR LOCKE: Well, it’s apparent that he’s had some sort of change of heart. And so when we’re able to meet with him, we’re going to discuss this thoroughly with him and his wife and really find out what it is that they want to do and explore the options and discuss the options.
QUESTION: The pictures that the Embassy released yesterday – it showed a very different sentiment. What’s your take? What happened here?
AMBASSADOR LOCKE: Well, first of all, we have long admired Mr. Chen, and he’s such a courageous individual. And when we found out that he was first in Beijing having escaped from the village, we met with him in the wee hours of the morning and then extracted or conducted almost like a “Mission Impossible” maneuver to get him into the Embassy.
And we have always been focused on what he wanted. From day one, he said he did not want to go to the United States. In fact, he was telling me of his activist friends throughout the world before he came into the Embassy, that he did not want to come to the United States. He wanted to remain in China to be a freedom fighter. And he also indicated to us he wanted to be reunified with his family. He hasn’t seen his son in over two years. And he wanted a full investigation of the abuses that he and his family had suffered in the village. So we were always presenting proposals on his behalf to the Chinese Government.
QUESTION: Why do you think he had a sudden change of heart?
AMBASSADOR LOCKE: There’s a lot going through his head. It’s a very emotional time. But nonetheless, we need to sit down and chat with him and his wife together and find out exactly what it is that they want, what they’re thinking. And we’re going to have to explore the options with them.
QUESTION: But after what happened last night of him talking to the media all night, wouldn’t it be almost imperative to talk to him today to figure out what’s going on?