Chen Guangcheng: 'Pressure at the Grassroots'
**Ian Johnson:** *How do you account for Chinese officials’ frequent disregard of China’s own laws? Is it a lack of checks and balances—that officials think they can get away with anything so they do anything?* **Chen Guangcheng:** It’s also that they don’t dare do the right thing and don’t dare not do the wrong thing. Chinese police and prosecutors, do you think they don’t understand Chinese law? They definitely understand. But these people illegally kept me under detention.They all knew [that what they were doing was illegal] but they didn’t dare take a step to rectify the situation. They weren’t able to. So you can see that once you enter the system, you need to become bad. If you don’t become bad, you can’t survive.
June 26, 2012