Apr. 29 - People in Hong Kong voice support for Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese activist who has sought refuge at the U.S. embassy in Beijing. Andrew Raven reports.
This is the U.S. embassy in Beijing. Inside is one of China's best known activists - says a U.S. rights group - a man at the centre of a potential diplomatic storm. Chen Guangcheng, a blind, self-taught lawyer, sought refuge in the embassy Saturday after a daring escape from house arrest. While coverage in mainland China has been muted, the story is grabbing headlines here, in Hong Kong. SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) 50-YEAR-OLD HONG KONG RESIDENT WILSON LEE SAYING: "Despite his blindness, he stood up for himself in such a brave way, I think he's great. I hope the Chinese government will give more freedom to the Chinese people in the mainland." Chen's escape - from a small village in the province of Shangdong - comes ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Analyst Johnny Lau says that could give the U.S. the upper hand in talks over other diplomatic issues. (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, JOHNNY LAU, SAYING: "I think because of the Chen Guangcheng issue, the U.S.'s bargaining power has increased. If China doesn't take U.S. interest into account in various issues, the U.S. could follow up and investigate his case in a high-profile manner." The United States has not acknowledged that Chen is in the embassy and China has refused to comment on his escape. Andrew Raven, Reuters