Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng is currently under the protection of the United States after he executed a daring escape, thwarting the Chinese captors who had placed him under 19 months of house arrest. NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrew Mitchell was quoted Monday on TODAY having said:
“My sources tell me that Chen is, indeed, under U.S. protection in Beijing. Now we don’t know whether that means he’s actually within the walls of the American Embassy compound, or in a diplomatic safe house, but he’s definitely in U.S. hands there.”
As the United States has yet to make an official announcement regarding the protection of Guangcheng, President Barack Obama dodged an inquiry regarding the Chinese dissident, however, he did state that China will be stronger if it improves human rights, Y! News reported. When asked directly about Guangcheng’s case, Obama replied:
“Obviously I am aware of the press reports on the situation in China but I am not going to make a statement on the issue.”
Chen has found himself in opposition to mandatory abortions in China. His escape has further complicated the delicate ties between the world’s top economic powers.
Obama indicated that human rights concerns are brought up during discussions between the United States and China, he went onto state:
“We actually believe China will be stronger as it opens up and liberalizes its own system. We want China to be strong, we want it to be prosperous and we are very pleased with all the areas of cooperation that we have been able to engage in. But we also believe that the relationship will be that much stronger and China will be that much more prosperous and strong as you see improvements on human rights issues in that country.”
What are your thoughts on Obama’s having avoided questions regarding blind dissident Chen Guangcheng and his daring escape from house arrest?