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Obama maintains silence on Chinese dissident Guangcheng issue

Washington, Tue, 01 May 2012 ANI

Washington, 1 May (ANI): U.S. President Barack Obama has refused to comment on Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who is said to have sought asylum in the American Embassy in Beijing after escaping house arrest.

According to the BBC, during a press conference, Obama said he was 'aware of press reports' on the issue, but would not comment on it.

Asked to comment on Chen's case, Obama said that 'every time we meet with China, the issue of human rights comes up'.

"We want China to be strong, we want it to be prosperous and we are very pleased with all the areas of co-operation that we have been able to engage in," Obama said during a joint news conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also declined to comment on the issue, but said that she would raise the issue of human rights during her talks with China.

Clinton is due to attend a very important China-US bilateral meeting later this week.urt Campbell, a senior US official, has arrived Beijing on an unscheduled visit and is believed to be negotiating with the Chinese authorities on Chen's fate.

Though there is a perceived trust-deficit between the two countries, State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said that Campbell's visit to Beijing was aimed at preparing for Clinton's visit. (ANI)

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