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Chinese blind activist admires Taiwan's democracy

Tuesday - 6/25/2013, 2:44am  ET

A supporter grabs a handshake from Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng and his wife Yuan Weijing after a keynote speech to lawmakers human rights supporters at the legislature in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Chen is on an 18-day tour of Taiwan meeting with human rights supporters and other key officials. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- An activist who fled house arrest in China before moving to America last year has had his first taste of Taiwan's democracy, with raucous lawmakers occupying the legislative floor while he delivered a speech in an adjacent room.

Chen Guangcheng told a packed room Tuesday that he considers the commotion often taking place on Taiwan's legislative floor a normal part of democracy.

He said it's better than "having someone driving a tank to storm the big street," a reference to China's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy students on Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Chen arrived Taiwan on Sunday for a two-week visit.

A self-taught lawyer who was born blind, he escaped house arrest last year and sparked a diplomatic crisis when he fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

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