May 3rd, 2012
04:46 PM ET

White House deflects criticism on Chen case

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The “mission impossible” style case of Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng is yet another wrinkle in a complicated relationship between the U.S. and China.

While issues of trade and differences on Syria are being debated, human rights is becoming the flashpoint.

White House spokesman Jay Carney sidestepped most questions on Chen’s case, like whether the administration supported asylum for the activist. Instead he directed reporters to the State Department for more details.

But pushed to answer concerns about Chen’s change of heart and his desire to leave the country, Carney defended the U.S. handling of the case.

“At no point during his time in the embassy did Mr. Chen ever request political asylum in the U.S. And at every opportunity he expressed his desire to stay in China, reunify with this family, continue his education and work for reform in his country,” Carney said. “All of our diplomacy was directed at putting him in the best possible position to achieve his objectives.”

Carney downplayed any long term fallout from this incident citing a multifaceted relationship that is built on economic, trade, security and regional concerns.

Topics: China

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. w l jones

    Block this. Why bring a blind man over here an put on welfare?

    May 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • 1FreeWorld

      Washington Dc Leader speaks up!

      They like Dirty Shops!

      But before we post that,,,,

      Watch this one!


      May 3, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        Wanna go to a Dirty Shop to Buy Food?

        If you are Hispanic or Asian,,,

        You may not want to open up shop in Washington, DC,,,,,

        The Capitol of the USA!

        Go Hispanics, Go Asians,
        Go away unless you are a Democrat Race Baiter!


        My suggestion is,,,,

        Wait 6 months and go in,,,,

        Buy the property now!

        May 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
      • 1FreeWorld

        You may want to buy in a different City!

        Watch this!


        Time to get the Government out of Washington, DC and let them TELE-Commute!

        Dept of Education in Hawaii
        EPA in Alaska
        Dept of Defense in Texas
        Dept of Home Land Security in Arizona on the Border
        Dept of the Treasury in China,,,,
        Department of Handouts in New York,,,,

        Etc, etc, etc,

        May 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  2. Is Mitt a Git?

    We need to turn down his request to come to the US–and President Obama should not apologize to the Chinese. Chen knew the risks of speaking out against human rights violations– He should have known better. Now he's crying foul and is changing his tune and blaming the US for not providing full information.

    No way in hell will President Obama be a pawn in this punk's game. The message would be, speak up about your communist/dictator government, go to the US embassy and beg for them to let you in the US–not gonna happen. We need to make an example of this flip flop fool.

    May 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  3. ckwang

    Mr. Carney... another liar for the obama people...what a jerkass carney is really.... obama and carney has knwtow to china

    May 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  4. Name*Liz Carter

    I don't know what will happen in this case, but I know this if he is able to come along with his family, it would be a great humanitarian effort on the part of the Obama Administration. However, I also know this,...whatever President Obama and his administration does decide to do, it will be hell to pay. If he let's them in, will be hell to pay; if he leaves them hanging, it will be hell to pay!! For some people, whichever way he goes with it, it will be hell to pay!! It's so sad. I feel so sorry for this President, I don't know what to do. He's damned if he does and he's damned if he doesn't on EVERY 'front'!! There is only one thing that can explain this evil, and I think everybody who's honest and of a sane mind knows just what that is!!

    May 3, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • John

      "There is only one thing that can explain this evil, and I think everybody who's honest and of a sane mind knows just what that is!!"
      Liz, because it is you I need to ask what you think it is?

      May 4, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  5. jerry

    well the corrupt state dept told this poor guy china would beat and torture his family if he left... clinton/obama was trying to short stop this human rights issue...throw this poor guy under the bus...then THE STATE DEPT lied about it. But then, those of you who can remember the clinton presidency,the vince foster event and much much more...and the accompanying clinton lies and fraud, will understand this is SOP for clinton...and now obama. Another foreign relations mess to go along with syrian, russia, egypt, afghanistan, yeman, pakistan, and and and. Do you see a trend here? All of these bd guys obama supports who hate Israel....

    May 3, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  6. jean2009

    Chen should have asked for total U.S. asylum for himself and his family while in the U. S. Embassy, but he wanted to stay since leaving China he would have had less of a platform for his protest and would in fact make him somewhat irrelevant.

    May 4, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Steveo

      Yeah! Either that or somebody threatened his wife and children! My guess is the latter!

      May 4, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • John

      Maybe China would take several hundred OWS people in a trade for this guy and his family.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:22 am |
      • Steveo


        Even China doesn't want that headache!

        May 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  7. Rusty

    Most Americans could care less about Chen. Countless hours and money devoted to this subject when America should be concerned about their own citizens. He and his family need to stay in China!

    May 4, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • demwit

      Unless his family tends to vote for democrats, like latinos..., right??

      May 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • demwit

      Your post is really confusing me Rusty. I'm making a list. Which countries of origin are we suppose to allow to cross over without distain again?

      May 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  8. greg

    chen must be related to mitt he keeps flip flopping and you stupid repo clowns blame it on our state department. Now we should be mind readers too? Obama 2012

    May 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm |