Chen Case to Overshadow Clinton Talks in Beijing

Posted May 1st, 2012 at 9:45 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Beijing for talks with Chinese officials likely to be overshadowed by the case of a blind Chinese dissident allegedly under U.S. protection.

No U.S. official, including Clinton, has spoken direcly about Chen Guangcheng. But she has said human rights would be discussed during her talks.

Clinton's trip to Beijing was planned long before the Chen case broke. She is joined by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is along to talk about progress between China and the United States on trade and currency issues.

Chen is a lawyer and human rights activist who has been blind since childhood. He was given a four year prison sentence in 2006 for exposing abuses under China's forced abortion policy aimed at population control. He has been under house arrest since 2010.

With the help of friends, Chen escaped from a village in Shandong province and made his way to Beijing and reportedly to safety in the U.S. embassy.

He posted an Internet video last week saying he, his wife, and young daughter were abused during his house arrest. He also called on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabow to investigate human rights abuses in China.