Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to China Monday night for an annual meetings later this week that are being complicated by an apparent request for asylum by a blind Chinese lawyer who fled his house arrest.
Chen Guangcheng made a surprise escape from his walled home in rural China last week where he’d effectively been imprisoned since serving prison time for exposing forced abortions in the country.
His case is being called “the greatest test in bilateral relations” since the pro-democracy demonstrations Tiananmen Square in 1989.
It comes just weeks after the Obama administration was drawn into the controversy over regional Communist party leader Bo Xilai, whose police chief briefly sought protection in a U.S. consulate as murder allegations swirled around the politician’s wife.
- Indira Lakshmanan, national security reporter for Bloomberg News