Participating in the 1989 Tiananmen Democracy Movement
As a teacher involved in the Tiananmen movement, Chen served a grueling term at Guangzhou Number One Laojiao Camp. He reported working 14 hours a day, loading stone into boats during daylight hours and making artificial flowers at night. Slow workers were frequently beaten, and many were threatened with extended sentences if their high work quotas were not met.
Chen managed to smuggle out proof that the artificial flowers made at Guangzhou Number One Laojiao Camp were made exclusively for sale in the United States.