The United States cannot allow China to continue to act with impunity, particularly with respect to imprisoning lawyers. China's lawyers are the country's only hope for becoming a one-party state where the rule of law prevails, let alone a true democracy. If China continues to imprison its lawyers, there will be never be change.
I worry about the next generation of Chinese lawyers. Will disappearances like my husband's deter them from becoming rights defenders? I imagine so. But if the United States were to speak out on my husband's behalf, perhaps this would change.
My 8-year old son, Peter, was surprised to discover last week that President Obama is a lawyer. To him, lawyers are people the government throws into prison, not leaders of the government itself. He asked me whether this meant that President Obama could help free his father. I told him that I hoped so. We are waiting to see.