China: Christian Bale should be embarrassed about Chen Guangcheng visit

Chinese officials have spoken out following the Batman actor's attempts to meet the political activist

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A Foreign Ministry spokesman says recent reports and video footage of officials preventing actor Christian Bale from visiting blind activist Chen Guangcheng while in China should embarrass the Batman star, not the Chinese government.

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Liu Weimin added: “[Bale] was not invited to fabricate news or shoot films in a certain village… I think if you want to make up news in China, you will not be welcome here.” 

Bale was travelling with a crew from American news channel CNN. As they approached the village they were manhandled by four plain-clothes government officials, and followed by dozens more as they retreated. 

The star of The Dark Knight was in the country attending the premiere of The Flowers of War, his movie about injustice and sacrifice in 1930s China.
 
Bale said he wanted to shake hands with Mr Chen, thank him for his efforts and tell him “what an inspiration he is.”
 
Mr Chen had tried to bring a lawsuit against Linyi officials accused of sterilising couples with two children and forcing women pregnant with their third children to have abortions.
 
He was imprisoned for prompting an attack on government buildings, a charge he denies. He is now free but has been confined to his home in a village eight hours from Beijing.

Since the incident, Chinese authorities have blocked internet searches for “Chen Guangcheng” but messages of support for Bale have been sent by internet users via micro-blogging service Weibo.

One said: “Mr Bale, I admire your courage and heart. But next time if you want to save a person, remember to wear your Batman suit”, adding: “The Chinese official media will not report this, it’s up to CNN to broadcast it.”

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