Wednesday, June 15, 2005

NYT: "Australia and U.S. Barring Him, Chinese Says" (Raymond Bonner)

The high-ranking Chinese diplomat who defected here two weeks ago only to be rebuffed by the Australian government says he also sought political asylum at the United States Embassy, and was turned away there as well.
The defector, Chen Yonglin, a 37-year-old career diplomat, said in his first interview with a foreign journalist that he had called the American Embassy in Canberra and followed up with a fax.
[. . .]
Later that day, Mr. Chen said in the interview on Monday, he received a call from an American Embassy official, whose name he could not recall, who told him the United States could do nothing for him.
Why Mr. Chen was dismissed without even an interview is not clear. Generally, in the past, defectors from Communist countries, whether athletes, dancers or diplomats, have been protected and assisted with their asylum claims.

The above is from Raymond Bonner's "Australia and U.S. Barring Him, Chinese Says" in this morning's New York Times. (We've covered Chen on Sundays in our summaries of what's being reported outside the US.) Liang e-mailed to ask that the story be highlighted.

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