Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a high-level entourage are set to arrive in Beijing Thursday for economic and security talks with China. The US custody of Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen jeopardizes that meeting, but some analysts say it's likely to proceed regardless.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton no doubt hopes the diplomatically delicate case of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who escaped house arrest and then sought refuge with US authorities in Beijing, can be resolved before she and a high-level entourage including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner arrive in the Chinese capital Thursday.
Both American and Chinese officials are tight-lipped on their deliberations over the rights advocate, whose treatment has figured prominently in official Western protests of China’s human rights record. Mr. Chen, blind since childhood, is a self-taught legal authority and critic of the forced abortions he exposed through risky investigations.
At the White House on Monday, President Obama said during a press conference that he was "aware" of the Chen case but would not say how the US will treat Chen's case. He suggested, however, that the issue of human rights in China would come up in this week's talks, as it always does with Beijing, not only because "it is the right thing to do" but also because "we think China will be stronger as it opens up and liberalizes its own system."