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Daily White House Briefing

Washington, DC
Thursday, May 3, 2012

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney held his daily briefing.

He answered questions about Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, saying the situation was evolving and that the State Department has ongoing conversations wtih both Chen Guangcheng and his family and the Chinese government. He noted that the President spoke extensively about human rights during his trip to China.

Chen Guangcheng, a blind activist who is known for speaking out about China's family planning policies, escaped from his home, where he said he had been intimidated and threatened by local authorities, and traveled to Beijing, where he entered the U.S. Embassy.  He told officials there that he wished to stay in China, and State Department officials negotiated an agreement for his freedom within China. He was later transferred to a hospital to seek treatment for an injury he sustained during his escape. Media outlets are now reporting that he and his family would like to leave China.

Jay Carney told reporters that "at no point" during his time in the embassy did Mr. Chen ever request assylum in the U.S., and that there was no pressure of any kind placed on him to leave the embassy by the U.S. officials.

Reporters also asked about a document release this morning that included many of the items siezed during the Osama Bin-Laden raid a year ago. Jay Carney responded that both the renewed interest in the subject around the anniversary and the amount of time required to translate and declassify the documents played a role in the timing of the release.


Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 4:36pm (ET)

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