Julian Pecquet | Obama Plays Defense on Handling of Chinese Activist’s Case

The Obama administration scurried Thursday to defend its handling of the case of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng after what looked like a diplomatic coup threatened to turn into a major embarrassment.

A State Department deal ensuring that Chen would be able to remain safely in China quickly unraveled Wednesday after Chen had second thoughts and pleaded for President Obama to let him into the United States. The change of heart appears to have taken place after Chinese police surrounded Chen in his hospital room after he left the embassy to get treated for injuries sustained during his escape from house arrest 10 days ago.

The incident has created a diplomatic row just as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner entered high-level negotiations with Chinese officials on everything from the crisis in Syria to the Chinese currency.



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