Officials on both sides of the fence are probably breathing a sigh of relief as legal activist Chen Guangcheng left the American embassy and turned himself over to a medical facility close by. Chen was placed on detention through his house arrest and decided that he would attempt to run when he had the chance. According to unnamed sources, Chen was informed that his family could be hurt if he did not return to Chinese officials immediately. Secretary of state, Hilary Clinton, worked her magic and managed to gain some promises to help Chen with his predicament and in an e-mailed statement said that "Mr. Chen has a number of understandings with the Chinese government about his future, including the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment." The Secretary finished by pointing out the obvious, "Making these commitments a reality is the next crucial task."
As we think about the conditions that people in China and other communist countries have to endure, it is difficult to understand how one human being can treat another so harshly. It does not say much for leaders of a country that have to use education as a bargaining chip to entice someone like Chen to remain in his country of birth. It gets worse when leaders have to make an arrangement with someone through threats to prevent them from defecting to another country. The commitments that we make should not be based on a decision to avoid persecution, because if they are then it means that we are being forced to do something that we would rather not be doing. Our living environment should always be one of peace and tranquility and unless my memory is playing tricks on me, China may not be ready to afford such an opportunity to their citizens. What a pity they were not smart enough to realize that old cliché, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can't..........!”