U.S. Department of State: Disturbed by reports that Guo Feixiong was prevented from leaving the country, and is closely monitoring the case

The U.S. State Department said Friday (Jan. 29) that the United States is disturbed by reports that Chinese dissident Guo Feixiong has been prevented by Chinese authorities from leaving the country to come to the United States to care for his seriously ill wife, and is closely following the case.

A State Department spokeswoman said Friday that the U.S. is closely following Guo Feixiong’s situation.

“We are troubled by reports that authorities in the People’s Republic of China have prevented Guo from leaving the country to care for his wife who is seriously ill in the United States,” a State Department spokesman said.

The spokesman added, “The Biden administration is committed to placing our democratic values at the center of our foreign policy and defending democracy, human rights and human dignity . We continue to stand with all human rights defenders around the world, including Guo, who seek to express themselves freely and without fear of persecution or violence. “

Guo Feixiong was banned from leaving Shanghai’s Pudong Airport on January 28 by authorities on suspicion of “endangering national security. He announced on the spot that he had begun an indefinite protest hunger strike and lost contact with the outside world shortly thereafter.

The last message he sent to a Voice of America reporter on his cell phone before losing contact was, “I would appreciate urgent help from the U.S. government.”

Guo previously told the outside world that his wife, Zhang Qing, had undergone open heart surgery for colon cancer with liver metastases in a Maryland hospital in the United States on Jan. 9 and needed care, for which he wrote an open letter to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi requesting the return of his passport and permission to come to the United States to care for his wife. His request was initially granted by local authorities in his Home province of Guangdong, but he was prevented from leaving by China’s Ministry of Public Security before he could do so.