Obama Avoids Discussing Chen

In a news conference on Monday, President Obama declined to make a statement regarding “press reports” about Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, but reinforced the administration’s stance on China’s human-rights reputation. Obama’s comments come as the White House faces pressure to discuss Chen’s case. The president effectively skirted the sensitive topic but still mentioned China’s human-rights issue, which he said comes up “every time we meet with China,” and impressed upon the country that it “will be stronger as it opens up and liberalizes its own system.” A senior U.S. diplomat arrived in China on Sunday to discuss Chen’s fate, and Hillary Clinton is scheduled to depart Washington tonight to join the meetings.