I first became aware of Chen Guangcheng through Philip Pan’s excellent book, “Out of Mao’s Shadow” (published in 2008 – here is a video presentation on the same subject by the author – he starts talking about Chen at about the 28:50 minute mark, and briefly again at 35:25). Chen is a self-taught lawyer who has quite a reputation in resisting abuses of the “One Child Policy”. I was amazed by his escape from house arrest last week (Chen is blind, and the security apparatus has lost a lot of face). He ended up trying to find sanctuary at the US embassy, but it was apparently badly handled by the US State Department (dissidents are inconvenient for diplomats and their formal relationships in authoritarian states – I know this from family experience).
Here is a selection of information about this issue: