Chinese dissident Chen joins conservative think-tank

“Mr. Chen is one of the leading voices for freedom and democracy in China today. Having suffered unjust imprisonment at the hands of his country’s government, he has proven his courage, and his fearless devotion to freedom. Mr. Chen is a truth-teller. It is the Institute’s hope that he be able to continue to tell the world the truth about human rights abuses in China, in total freedom to speak his mind and to shape his own agenda as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Institute.”

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Chen, a self-taught legal scholar and outspoken critic of China's one-child policy known as the “barefoot lawyer,” rose to international prominence last year after seeking refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing. The incident briefly jeopardized a high-level meeting last May with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner before the U.S. and China agreed that Chen would be allowed to go study in the United States. 

Chen again made national news earlier this year after New York University asked him to leave the campus, where he'd been invited to study law for the past year. NYU critics accused the university of caving to pressure from China, a charge the university denies. 

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