Romney says Chinese activist should be protected

April 29, 2012 - 11:17 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says the U.S. should do everything it can to protect a Chinese activist who escaped house arrest and was reported to be hiding in the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

In a statement released Sunday, Romney said the incident involving Chen Guangcheng points toward the broader issue of human rights and that the U.S. should help to reform the communist regime. Chen exposed forced abortions and sterilizations as a result of China's one-child policy.

"Any serious U.S. policy toward China," said Romney, "must confront the facts of the Chinese government's denial of political liberties, its one-child policy and other violations of human rights."

President Barack Obama has not spoken publicly on the incident, which comes on the eve of diplomatic talks with Beijing.