The China Times

Hillary Clinton visits China in the context of tensions around a dissident

May 1, 2012

April 30, Hillary Clinton attended a press conference in Washington before leaving for China.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Beijing Wednesday for annual discussions with Chinese officials, the scheduled meeting could be overshadowed by the fate of a dissident who had sought refuge at the embassy of the United States. Chen Guangcheng, who was under house arrest, managed to escape the vigilance of his guards. According to relatives and activists of human rights, he fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

China and the United States did not formally expressed about the fate of dissent that could disrupt the atmosphere of the two-day discussions to be held on Thursday and Friday, between the two largest economies in the world. Before leaving for China on Monday night, Clinton said she would raise the issue of human rights with its stakeholders.

During the talks, the U.S. should ask China to put pressure on the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The U.S. should also seek assistance from China in resolving crises linked to nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea and encourage Beijing to help ease tensions in the South China Sea. The U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, will participate in these discussions, which should also include the exchange rate of the yuan and the issues of market access to China.

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  • Rani Muller

    It would be a total disgrace if Foreign Minister Clinton were not to raise the issue and fate of this most courageous human rights activist who, despite being blind and, after repeated physical and mental abuse, managed to escape his guards to reach the U.S. embassy in Beijing. He thought it would be a place of safety, somewhere for him to get protection.
    Not so, seemingly. Relations between China and the U.S. threatened to get strained over Chen’s embassy hideout because of Clinton’s imminent visit. The story goes that U.S. officials told Chen that his family was in danger in order to get him to leave the embassy so as not to step on China’s sensitive toes.

  • Rani Muller

    When are we finally placing human beings above and beyond trade discussions or nuclear stance negotiations? If it is inconvenient for China to have a dissident, whose voice is raised against enforced abortions and sterilization, become visible and if it is embarrassing that he finds refuge at the U.S. embassy on the eve of a U.S. dignitary’s visit, then maybe the time has come to allow your citizens to raise issues that are close to their hearts.
    How can the powerful government of China be intimidated by a blind human rights activist? Why does Chen Guangcheng have to be clobbered, attacked, physically and mentally abused, when all he is interested in are selfless, humane and compassionate actions?