WASHINGTON, June 1 (UPI) -- Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng said he needs to "replenish my knowledge" while attending New York University's U.S.-Asia Law Institute.
In an hourlong discussion sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations Thursday, Chen spoke of what he considers to be Chinese government officials' growing disregard for the rule of law, especially by local officials, CNN reported.
Chen, who escaped house arrest in April and took refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing before he was hospitalized, arrived in the United States in May with his wife and two children. A U.S.-China agreement allowed Chen to study in the United States, not seek asylum.
"I need to replenish my knowledge" after being "isolated from the rest of the world" for seven years, said Chen, who is blind.
Chen said he plans to focus on the role of law in society, the differences between U.S. and Chinese law and laws designed to protect the disabled, CNN said.
He also said he needs some time off.
"The last seven years I haven't had a weekend," Chen said. "Both from my body and my mental health, I need some rest."
Chen discussed what he viewed as China's increasing disregard for the rule of law, citing his nephew's ordeal as an example, CNN said.
Chen Kegui, 32, was charged with attempted murder after "the deputy secretary in charge of law and order got 30-odd hired thugs with ax handles and busted their way" into his home, Chen Guangcheng said, leaving his nephew "no choice" but to defend himself.
"In the middle of the night totally against China's constitution they broke into a home?" Chen said. "There's no justice in this."
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