Chen Guangcheng brought a lawsuit against Chinese provincial officials for forced sterilizations and forced abortions as part of the one-child policy. The Chinese government did what it usually does: it cracked down on both the bad officials, and the good citizen who exposed them. Chen was sentenced to prison on trumped-up charges. When his four-year term was over, he was (illegally) put under house arrest.
This week, despite being under intense guard and being blind, Chen escaped from his village, was spirited away by the human rights underground to Beijing, and has taken refuge in the U.S. embassy.
I hope a fruit of the upcoming U.S./China economic talks will be that Chen can leave China for freedom, and that his family will not be retaliated against.
What I find particularly hopeful about this story is that Chen's activism took the form of a lawsuit. The fact that it is even possible now for a citizen to file a lawsuit against the government is a hopeful step toward legitimate government in China.