Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is about to leave for China on Monday, a trip that is likely to be fraught with diplomatic tension over the standing of escaped Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who is reportedly getting sheltered at the U.S. Embassy.
Chen, a blind, self-taught lawyer, evaded guards who had held him beneath house arrest for greater than 18 months in a tiny jap village and created his approach to Beijing on April 22, good friends and fellow activists said last week.
Once inside the capital, Chen moved from 1 secure home to a different ahead of acquiring refuge in the U.S. Embassy, according to Hu Jia, a fellow activist and among the couple of men and women to possess seen Chen due to the fact he arrived in Beijing.
The circumstance provides a rare check for the Obama administration's method to relations with China, generating a pressure in between upholding human rights and sustaining regular ties with Beijing.
Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are scheduled to hold talks with Chinese officers in Beijing beginning Thursday about strategic and financial issues. However the Chen affair is in peril of overshadowing the economic talking factors.
"If Chen is holed up within the U.S. Embassy, it can be hard to fathom how the 2 sides will remain focused about the lots of pressing geostrategic and financial troubles inside the relationship," Christopher Johnson, a China analyst in the Heart for Strategic and Worldwide Studies in Washington, wrote in an opinion article for CNN.
The blind activist's flight from detention comes at a very sensitive time for Chinese authorities. The ruling Communist Party continues to be rocked by a scandal involving the previous high-ranking chief Bo Xilai, whose wife is below investigation in relation to the mysterious dying of the British businessman in the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing.
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