the full version of the Chen story

From China to NYC, it’s night and day for Chen Guangcheng

A year ago one of China’s most famous dissidents escaped for a new life in America. Now he faces a different kind of rejection.

A year ago, one of China’s most famous dissidents escaped for a new life in America. Now he faces a different kind of rejection.

“It’s like heaven and earth,” says Chen Guangcheng, the 43-year-old human-rights activist. That’s how he describes the difference between his current life in New York City and his life before — under illegal house arrest in his native village in eastern China’s Shandong province.

We are chatting via Skype one night (Beijing time) about the drastic changes of the past year. My old friend adds, with a laugh: “Or as different as day and night — it’s daytime here, and night over where you are.”

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