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Obama under pressure to protect Chinese dissident

Last Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012 - 15:00

Washington: US President Barack Obama is under pressure to offer Washington`s protection to blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who has reportedly taken refuge in the American embassy in Beijing.

White House officials have stressed that Obama needed to take the step so that they could ``balance`` human rights and relations with China, The Telegraph reports.

Civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng escaped from 20 months of house arrest recently.

His alleged presence in the US embassy compound has increased tensions between Washington and Beijing ahead of bilateral talks to be held in the Chinese capital later this week.

Kurt Campbell, one of Hillary Clinton`s Assistant Secretaries of State, has arrived in Beijing, even as officials are engaged in tense negotiations about Chen`s future.

John Brennan, Obama`s counter terrorism adviser, stressed that US-China ties are ``very important``, and added that officials would have to make sure that ``appropriate balance is struck``.

Declining to confirm whether Chen was indeed inside the US embassy compound in Beijing, Brennan said he was confident President Obama and his diplomats ``will be able to find the right way forward``.

A possible compromise could be seen with Washington requesting that Chen be allowed to travel to America for medical treatment.


First Published: Monday, April 30, 2012 - 15:00

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