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Two largest economies in the world the United States and China.
Are now said to be in the middle of one of the biggest diplomatic standoff in years if not decades and it all has to do with a -- the Chinese dissident.
Who is reportedly now hiding out in the US embassy in Beijing and here's his picture.
He's an outspoken critic of China's repressive policies the one child limit forced abortions sterilizations and other abuse.
Last week he reportedly tricked some guards in the middle of the night.
Climbed over a wall and escape from house arrest after more than a year and a half in captivity.
Some supporters reportedly been drove him hundreds of miles to the US embassy in order that he might seek asylum politically.
The White House has not confirmed -- -- has not denied for that matter the fact that the dissident is now under US protection.
The president spoke today about China and its human rights abuses but he stayed noticeably quiet about the diplomatic standoff.
Later tonight secretary of state Clinton is headed to China where she may face some angry Chinese officials.
The -- -- chief correspondent Jonathan Hunt is here with more on this -- the administration officials -- Very sensitive about this issue -- of their -- they did today.
Yeah -- extraordinarily striking just how determined administration officials seemed.
To avoid talking about this specific case in any detail today whatsoever from the State Department spokeswoman to the sec of state Hillary Clinton -- -- To President Obama who happened to be holding a previously scheduled.
News conference alongside the Japanese prime minister today.
He refused point blank to talk about the dissident case and instead talked in generalities -- China and human rights listen.
We want trying to be strong and we want to be prosperous.
And we're very pleased with.
All the areas of cooperation.
We've been able to engage it.
But we also believe that.
That relationship will be that much stronger and China won't be that much more.
Prosperous and strong.
As us you see improvements.
On human rights issues in that country.
And still tonight US officials are refusing to either confirm or deny.
The reports from human rights activists in China that the dissident is actually inside the US embassy in Beijing -- so so what are the options here rather and there are -- a couple of options asylum would be one for this dissident here in the United States but those who know Williams take.
He doesn't actually want to leave China another option would be for the Chinese to exonerate him -- and allow him to live freely.
That appears highly unlikely though because in the eyes of some experts US officials off through their public silence on this.
Allowing China to carry on that -- these repressive policies and actions listen.
The State Department is apparently -- and the Chinese see this and they've realized that they can get what they want by throwing a tantrum.
Then you would think that after forty years of this that we catch -- but unfortunately we have a.
Of course there is so much more tied up in this -- the case of one dissident.
China needs the US I mean it needs China's help on North Korea on Syria.
And on Iran you throw all of that together with a dissident who -- may not be inside the US embassy in Beijing.
And you have the backdrop for some pretty interesting meetings for Hillary Clinton the sec of state this week should be Jonathan thanks meantime a senior Chinese.
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