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THE INTERVIEW

An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

Latest update : 2014-06-04

Famed activist says China fears fresh 'Tiananmen' protests

Twenty-five years after the deadly crackdown on peaceful protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, Chen Guangcheng, one of China's foremost dissidents, talks exclusively to FRANCE 24.

Chen, a blind Chinese activist, captured the world's imagination two years ago when he made a daring escape from his house arrest in rural China, found refuge in the US embassy in Beijing and, after a tense standoff with Washington, left for the US with his family.

In this interview, Chen claims that the Chinese people have not forgotten the events of June 4th 1989. He also claims that the regime is actually scared of new "Tiananmen"-style movements, which is why security forces are cracking down so brutally on pro-democracy activists.

Chen thinks democracy is inevitable in China but warns that if the regime continues to use violence, it could provoke a violent and bloody revolution. Chen also tells how he learned that the authorities wanted him dead or alive after his escape and accuses the Chinese government of breaking its promise to investigate the abuses against him and to protect his family.

He regrets that the Obama administration is not holding Beijing accountable and, more broadly, that the West is skirting the issue of human rights because of its growing business ties with China.

By Marc PERELMAN

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