President Obama said on Monday that he was aware of news reports that blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng had sought refuge with Americans in Beijing, but said he was not going to comment on the issue.
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“What I would like to emphasize is that every time we meet with China, the issue of human rights comes up,” he said at a press conference with the visiting Japanese prime minister.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to leave for China Monday for previously scheduled meetings. The American government has not said whether it is protecting Chen.
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Obama also said that North Korea will only be harming itself if it pursues a nuclear test.
“The more you engage in provocative acts, the more isolated you will become, the stronger sanctions will be in place,” he said, adding that he did not want to hypothesize about any future missile launches.