House to hold another Chen hearing next week

Earlier in the month, Smith chaired a hearing on Chen from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which Smith also chairs. In that hearing, Chen himself called in and said he wanted to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

ADVERTISEMENT
Chen's tale of escaping from house arrest and fleeing to the U.S. embassy caught the attention of much of the United States in early May, in particular because Clinton and other high-level officials were in China at the time for a long-planned strategic meeting. Obama administration officials were criticized by Republicans for allowing Chen to be left in a hospital to recover, which allowed Chinese authorities to resume custody over him.

Since then, the Chinese government has said it would allow Chen and his family to apply to study in the United States, but Republicans have said that is only a promise that still needs to be kept.

A statement from Smith on Friday said Chen remains in a Chinese hospital, "still awaiting necessary travel documents."

At the May 3 commission hearing, Smith said he was hoping to call another hearing to take testimony from Obama administration officials on the situation, but no such hearing has been scheduled. Officials have been invited to next week's subcommittee hearing, but as of Friday none had confirmed that they would attend.