US official says China activist incident won’t be ‘repeated’

May 2, 2012 10:46 am

, BEIJING, May 2 – A US official said Wednesday there would be no repeat of the incident involving Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, but declined to comment on China’s call for an apology.

Chen spent six days holed up at the US embassy after fleeing house arrest, prompting Beijing to accuse Washington of “interference” and demand an apology.

In what appeared to be a carefully scripted response, a senior US official said: “This was an extraordinary case involving exceptional circumstances and we do not anticipate that it will be repeated.”

“Recognising the exceptional circumstances under which Mr. Chen entered the US embassy, we intend to work closely inside the US government to fully ensure that our policies are consistent with our values,” he said.

The official declined to elaborate, but another official accompanying Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a visit said that the United States believed its actions toward Chen were “lawful.”

The two officials confirmed after nearly a week of silence that the embassy assisted Chen by letting him onto the grounds and providing him medical attention.


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