The current case of a prominent Chinese activist seeking U.S. protection has echoes of a similar episode in 1989. Then, physicist Fang Lizhi took refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He spent a year there before the U.S. and China reached a deal allowing him to move to the U.S. He died this month in Arizona, at age 76.
Credit John B. Carnett / Popular Science via Getty Images
As the U.S. and China seek a solution to the case involving a prominent Chinese activist, it's worth remembering this isn't the first time the two countries have waged this kind of negotiation.
Chen Guangcheng, an activist who's been blind since he was a small boy, escaped house arrest in an eastern Chinese village and was taken to Beijing, where he's believed to be under U.S. protection.
A similar, high-profile case took place in 1989, when astrophysicist Fang Lizhi and his wife took refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
Chinese paramilitary police patrol outside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on April 28. Chen Guangcheng, a blind legal activist who fled house arrest in his rural Chinese village, is reported to be under the protection of U.S. officials. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is heading to China for what was supposed to be a routine visit.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sets off Monday night on a trip that was supposed to be a routine checkup on U.S.-China relations.
Instead, she is flying into a firestorm after a high-profile dissident's daring escape from house arrest. The blind legal activist, Chen Guangcheng, is now believed to be under U.S. protection — and diplomats are scrambling to try to resolve the issue quickly.
On her first visit to China as secretary of state in 2009, Clinton emphasized other issues besides human rights.
Chen Guangcheng, in an image from a YouTube video.
With Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner due in China for economic talks that start on Thursday, the U.S. and China are rushing to avert a diplomatic crisis over the fate of blind human rights activist Chen Guangcheng.