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April 30th, 2012
09:07 AM ET

The importance of Chen Guangcheng, and how it could affect U.S./China talks – Author Gordon Chang weighs in

A shocking and daring escape of an activist in China could create big fallout in our relationship with China.

Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng evaded layers of guards after 18 months under house arrest, and reportedly made his way 370 miles northwest to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. This comes just days before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner are expected in the Chinese capitol for long-planned economic and strategic talks.

Neither the Obama Administration nor the Chinese government have confirmed Chen Guangcheng's whereabouts, but a former senior China analyst at the CIA says "This is the greatest test in bilateral relations in years, probably going back to '89." And 1989 of course was when Tiananmen Square unfolded.

This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," author and Forbes.com columnist Gordon Chang explains why the Chen Guangcheng scandal could affect U.S./China talks, even though it shouldn't.


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