Free Lawyer Li Heping
December 31, 2015
As I spent time with my family this Christmas and welcomed my daughter and her husband back from a wonderful experience of a year of academic study in China, I could not forget about my Chinese Christian brother, Li Heping. How difficult it must be for his wife, Wang Qiaoling, to not know what has happened to her husband and for his young daughter to not have her father at home, especially during Christmas. To have no answers of where or why Brother Li is being detained ? if his health is good ? or even if he is still alive must be unbearable. I have a great love for China and its citizens and believe that honest citizen leaders like Li Heping are essential for China to continue its remarkable journey as a world power. The treatment of the Chinese government towards Brother Li and his colleagues Zhang Kai reflects an ugly disgraceful chapter in Chinese history which only hurts China in the eyes of the international community. International academic leaders, business leaders, and religious leaders from around the world lose respect for the Chinese government when they do not observe their own laws and violate the basic human rights of some of their most honest and valued citizens such as Li Heping and Zhang Kai.
Since 2005 I had the joy to meet Li Heping several times when Bob Fu and I invited him and some of his fellow human rights defenders to the United States to speak at prestigious academic institutions and receive recognition for his professional expertise and integrity. As a distinguished Chinese attorney who is well-respected in the international community, I felt honored to be able to host Brother Li and his colleagues in my personal home near Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and also when he traveled to Midland, Texas to meet with friends of President George W. Bush. I have rarely met an attorney who is as dedicated to living a personal and professional life of integrity as Li Heping. I am praying for Brother Li, his wife and daughter, his fellow colleagues and church members during this sad time. I know that I and many highly respected American leaders who know Li Heping are eager to know if he is still alive ? If he is alive, when he will be allowed to return to his wife and daughter and be granted the basic human rights that are internationally recognized and that the Peoples Republic of China claims to honor. The abduction and detainment of Li Heping clearly is in violation of such rights.
Member of Council for Foreign Relations(CFR)
Representative to the United Nations
World Evangelical Alliance