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Clinton Pledges Commitment To Chinese Dissident, Beijing Demands U.S. Apology

May 02, 2012

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged that the United States would remain "committed" to Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng after a deal with China on his safety.

Clinton, who is on a visit to Beijing, confirmed accounts by U.S. officials that China had reached "understandings" on the treatment of the 40-year-old activist who said that he suffered severe beatings under house arrest.

"The U.S. government and the American people are committed to remaining engaged with Mr. Chen and his family in the days, weeks, and years ahead," Clinton said in a statement.

A U.S. official says China has pledged to treat "humanely" a blind Chinese dissident who sought refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing after escaping house arrest more than a week ago.

Chen Guangcheng, a critic of China's one-child policy, left the embassy on May 2 after receiving assurances that he and his family would be relocated to a safe location within China.

A grateful Chen reportedly told U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a phone conversation that he wanted to "kiss" her.

The U.S. Embassy's decision to shelter the dissident has added tensions to talks this week between Clinton and senior Chinese officials in Beijing.

China has demanded an apology from the U.S. for what it called interference in its internal affairs in the Chen case.

Chen, who fell out of favor with Chinese authorities by exposing forced abortions and sterilization campaigns, escaped house arrest in Shandong Province on April 22.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters


Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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