Kurt M. Campbell
Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
May 2, 2012
QUESTION: Let’s start with this issue of whether he wanted to leave the Embassy or didn’t want to leave the Embassy. Because some of his friends are saying that Mr. Chen was threatened with his wife being killed if he didn’t leave.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL: Well, all I can say is I spent an enormous amount of time with him over the course of the last several days. And we have very strict protocols on how we handle these things, and I saw, on at least three occasions, our wonderful ambassador here, Ambassador Locke, ask him specifically, as we are required to do with witnesses around: Mr. Chen, are you ready to leave the Embassy voluntarily? And each time he said, “Zou,” which means let’s do it, let’s go.
And we’re going to be putting some pictures out, and I think what you’re going to see from these is he is excited; he is happy. I think he’s anticipating the struggles ahead, but let me just say that there were a lot – there was a lot of hugging and a lot of really quite genuine warmth between him and us. And I think everyone felt that we had served his interests and we’d worked closely with him in a manner that brought his family together that had been torn apart years ago and really had done something that gives him a chance to have a productive life. It’s not going to be easy, but that’s what he wanted, and we were very grateful to be able to support him. MORE