Washington: President Barack Obama wants to strike an appropriate balance between advancing human rights and maintaining relations with China, a top US official said on Sunday even as he refused to comment on the Chinese dissident who escaped last week.
"I`m not going to address the issue of Mr Chen right now. We are working very closely with the individuals involved in this. So, I am going to leave it to others who have responsibility for it," John Brennan, the Deputy National Security Adviser to the US President, told Fox News in an interview.
Brennan was responding to questions on the news report on the Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng who is believed to have escaped from his house arrest and is under US protection.
"I think in all instances, the President tries to balance our commitment to human rights, making sure that the people throughout the world have the ability to express themselves freely and openly. But also, that we continue to carry out our relationships with key countries overseas," he said.
Chen Guangcheng, who has exposed forced abortions and sterilisations in villages as a result of China`s one-child policy, escaped a week ago from his guarded home in Shandong province in eastern China. Chinese-based activists say he was driven away by supporters and then handed over to others who brought him to Beijing.
Observing that China-US relations are important, Brennan said Obama Administration is going to make sure that it does this in the appropriate way and that appropriate balance is struck.
"I think it would be fair to say that the president has faced similar situations in past in terms of this balancing requirements.
And so, I`m confident that president and others within the US government are going to be able to find the right way forward," he said.