Did Obama Administration Reject Chinese Defector to Please Beijing?

By:  William F. Jasper
04/30/2012
       
Did Obama Administration Reject Chinese Defector to Please Beijing?

The State Department held a classified briefing for members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 26 regarding the administration’s handling of the reported attempt in February by a high level Chinese official to defect to the United States. As reported here previously, Wang Lijun, the famous “crime fighter” and chief of police for Chonqing City (where he was also vice mayor) made a dramatic, secret visit to the United States Consulate General in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, provoking a major armed standoff between police and military forces representing Chonqing, who had been sent to capture him, and forces from Sichuan, who were ordered to take Wang into custody and stop the Chonqing police from arresting him.

The State Department held a classified briefing for members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 26 regarding the administration’s handling of the reported attempt in February by a high level Chinese official to defect to the United States. As reported here previously, Wang Lijun, the famous “crime fighter” and chief of police for Chonqing City (where he was also vice mayor) made a dramatic, secret visit to the United States Consulate General in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, provoking a major armed standoff between police and military forces representing Chonqing, who had been sent to capture him, and forces from Sichuan, who were ordered to take Wang into custody and stop the Chonqing police from arresting him.

 

“Committee Members received information this morning in a classified setting” about the Wang Lijun incident, Bradley R. Goehner, Communications Director of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs wrote in an email to The Epoch Times in response to a question. “No more information was provided," the Times reported.

Foreign affairs watchers and China analysts have suggested that the Obama administration may have refused to grant asylum to Wang Lijun in order not to cause any ripples in U.S.-Sino relations before the impending White House visit of China’s Vice-President Xi Jinping.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, on February 15 issued a statement critical of the administration’s handling of the Wang Lijun affair and requesting information about the incident. She said,

As the potential next leader of China visits the U.S. this week, I am disappointed about reports that the U.S. turned away Wang Lijun, a high-ranking Chinese official seeking asylum. This decision appears to have been made to avoid "embarrassing" China on the eve of Xi Jinping’s visit to the United States. I have requested all available information from the State Department regarding Mr. Wang’s request for asylum, as well as the status of his condition and his current whereabouts.

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