Chen Guangcheng: GQ Rebel of the Year

Chen Guangcheng finds himself a long way from Dongshigu, alongside Ben Affleck, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Walken and Usain Bolt in GQ magazine’s Men Of The Year feature. Beneath a heroically windswept portrait, Chen describes mixed feelings about his escape to the U.S., and his views on the political realities of continuing his work there. I had read Daniel C. Chung’s article in The New York Times after my arrival in the United States, where he says that I should be careful about letting people exploit me to represent their interests. I appreciate his opinion, but I already have my own thoughts on this. If any person, organization, party—whatever—works to promote human rights and social justice, I will cooperate with them. Don’t call that exploitation. Because exploitation would be for individual benefit. If in general you feel like you can’t accomplish anything because someone tells you to do something, then what will you ever do? If your left hand wants to cooperate and is clasped by your right, is it being exploited? If your right hand comes to your left’s aid, is it being exploited? It doesn’t matter which hand is which. It matters what they are trying to accomplish. […] I know Boehner and Pelosi might not agree [about which rights I represent]. I think I protect the rights of unborn children, the rights of women, and the rights of any citizen. Human rights are not just children’s rights or women’s rights. Men have rights. The elderly have rights. This is a human problem, a fundamental concept. I don’t think Mr. Boehner and Ms. Pelosi differ on this idea. They may promote rights from different angles, but I don’t think one-hundred-percent agreement is necessary. Meanwhile Ai Weiwei, one of GQ’s Men Of 2011, came in at number nine last week ...
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