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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

May 3, 2013 - 12:50 pm

It seems the Chinese aren’t interested in taking Secretary of State John Kerry’s call about the nephew of dissident Chen Guangcheng, the blind activist against China’s forced abortions who fled to the U.S. embassy a year ago.

Chen testified before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee last month, saying his family members were under attack from the Chinese government — torture, harassment, beatings — since Hillary Clinton negotiated Chen’s ticket to the U.S.

His nephew Chen Kegui tried to defend himself against government thugs and was sentenced to three years in prison.

“We cannot continue to tolerate the Chinese communist authorities continuing to go back on their word and deceiving the international community at will,” Chen said at the hearing, during which he called on the Obama administration to release the agreements forged with Beijing that U.S. diplomats told him ensured no harm would come to his kin if he left China.

State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell was asked at today’s press briefing whether Secretary of State John Kerry followed up on a vow to call the PRC leadership and raise the case of Chen Kegui.

VENTRELL: The secretary did reach out to his counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang yesterday. He was unable to reach him, and the secretary will follow up. So he has placed a call, and has not yet been able to connect with the foreign minister, who we understand is on travel.

QUESTION: Do you know if he attempted to reach him after you announced from the podium that he was going to call?

VENTRELL: No, we discussed in the morning that he was going to make the call during the day.

QUESTION: Right, I know. But was it — did he try to do it after you had said that he was going to?

VENTRELL: Matt, I don’t know what — exactly what hour…

QUESTION: Just curious if you think that the Chinese foreign minister might have been ducking the phone call because he knew that he was going to get yelled at about this?

VENTRELL: I — I don’t know what time the Operations Center was putting forth the call. But, the secretary did reach out to the Chinese and will follow up.

QUESTION: Isn’t it odd that you — that he’s not able to reach the Chinese foreign minister?

VENTRELL: I mean, again sometimes it’s time differences, or travel, or — but – yeah, sometimes it takes us a little while to connect with foreign leaders — or foreign minister in this case.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Kerry would have made an excellent Secretary in December 1941. "Secretary Kerry has attempted to contact the Japanese foreign minister in regard to the misunderstanding in Pearl Harbor that resulted in the tragic deaths of several Japanese naval aviators and some Americans. He has great hopes that no more deaths will result from the Japanese Navy's accidental use of live ammunition and sincerely regrets the casualties caused by return fire from our troops."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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The Chinese are second to the party, the Russians ignored him first.

These totalitarians don't take a joke well. They are too stuffed shirted to give the American joker the time of day.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It has been said to never assign to malice that which can be explained by pure stupidity. And good Lord does John Kerry have that stupidity down pat. So you have to ask yourself the question: If you were the Chinese, would you take a call from this idiot?

Didn't think so...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Probably because they saw the pictures of him in the bunny suit or going hunting with a shotgun or that Reporting for Duty ad he did, come to think of it nothing he does is smart, but he tries over and over to look and sound that way doesn't he?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I wouldn't waste my time talking to that dork Kerry either.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I might ask him about his medals...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I would answer just so I could slam the receiver down on him.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Kerry would have made an excellent Secretary in December 1941. "Secretary Kerry has attempted to contact the Japanese foreign minister in regard to the misunderstanding in Pearl Harbor that resulted in the tragic deaths of several Japanese naval aviators and some Americans. He has great hopes that no more deaths will result from the Japanese Navy's accidental use of live ammunition and sincerely regrets the casualties caused by return fire from our troops."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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