News

    Obama Sidesteps Issue of Asylum for Chinese Dissident Chen

    Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and President Obama at White House, Washington, D.C., April 30, 2012.
    Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and President Obama at White House, Washington, D.C., April 30, 2012.
    Kent Klein

    President Barack Obama avoided comment on Monday when asked by reporters whether the United States would offer political asylum to an escaped Chinese dissident. The president and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a news conference after meeting at the White House.

    With high-level U.S.-China talks set to start on Thursday in Beijing, the president sidestepped the delicate issue of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng.

    The blind lawyer fled house arrest last week and is reported to have entered the protection of U.S. diplomats in Beijing.

    Obama would not confirm that Chen is under U.S. protection or that American and Chinese diplomats are trying to negotiate an agreement for him to receive asylum.

    “Obviously, I am aware of the press reports on the situation in China, but I am not going to make a statement on the issue. What I would like to emphasize is that every time we meet with China, the issue of human rights comes up,” he said.

    Analysts say the issue could have implications beyond the upcoming strategic and economic talks between Washington and Beijing. China has been cooperating with the United States on global economic issues, working to discourage North Korea and Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and trying to prevent a war between Sudan and South Sudan.

    Obama and Noda criticized North Korea’s recent failed missile launch. The president said he has tried to ensure that Pyongyang is punished for provocative behavior.

    “The old pattern of provocation that then gets attention and somehow insists on the world purchasing good behavior from them - that that pattern is broken. What we said is that the more you engage in provocative acts, the more isolated you will become,” said Obama.

    The Japanese leader said North Korea’s action undermined efforts to resolve the situation peacefully. Noda also called on the international community to work together to discourage Pyongyang from conducting nuclear tests.

    Both leaders highlighted their agreement to move about 9,000 U.S. Marines from the Japanese island of Okinawa to other locations in the Pacific region.

    Obama praised Noda and the Japanese people for their country’s recovery from the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that struck Japan more than a year ago. Noda thanked Americans for their support.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: William
    May 01, 2012 7:27 AM
    Well isn't he the sidestepper and chief?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora