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Escaped Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng is now reportedly under the protection of U.S. officials, according to the ChinaAid Association. Chinese and American officials are currently in "high-level talks" over Guangcheng's status according to ChinaAid, who claim to have spoken with someone with knowledge of the discussions. Both the Chinese and American government declined comment on the story.

Chen first escaped from his house earlier this week. He is a human rights layer who angered the Chinese government for defending women who had been sterilized by government officials to comply with one-child laws. He was in prison from 2006 to 2010 for disturbing the peace and destroying property. When he was released, he wasn't formally placed under house arrest, but state security guards have surrounded the house and haven't permitted them to leave ever since.  

If Guangcheng is with American officials, it will put them in a tight bind. His possession will be a sticky issue leading into a week where the relationship between the two countries was supposed to be on the mend.

Hillary Clinton and Timothy Geithner are expected to land in China this week to discuss international affairs, and to try and ease tensions between the two countries. Clinton and Geithner are expected to also look to China for help restraining the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, and for help maintaining peace in Syria. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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