April 29, 2012

Honorable Ambassador Gary Locke
U.S. Ambassador
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Hon. Ambassador Locke,

            We want to express our deep thanks to you for your support of Mr. Chen Guangcheng.

            Mr. Chen has escaped his illegal house arrest amid unconfirmed report that he is now at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

            Since your arrival in Beijing in August last year as US Ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China, you have obviously touched the hearts of the ordinary people in China by their enthusiasm in meeting you.  Indeed, the media in China wrote about your American style of friendliness and your lack of official airs.  They wrote about your lining up to buy coffee, carrying your own backpack and flying economy class.  You have shown the people in China what an official should be like.

            We also want to thank you for your statement last year on International Human Rights Day.  You said, "While China has undoubtedly made great strides in developing its economy, the imprisonment of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and restrictions on the freedoms of his spouse Liu Xia, the illegal 'disappearing' of Gao Zhisheng, the unlawful detention of Chinese citizens such as lawyer Chen Guangcheng, and constraints on the religious freedom and practices of Tibetan, Uighur and Christian communities do not bring China closer to achieving its stated goals (growth, prosperity and long-term stability)."

             We ask for your continued support for Mr. Chen and to help Mr. Chen to attain his wishes in his open video to China's Premier Wen Jiaboa.

             Ann Lau
             Chair, Visual Artists Guild