Chinese minister declines comment on escaped activist

BEIJING - A senior Chinese diplomat declined to comment on Saturday on unconfirmed reports that dissident Chen Guangcheng had fled into the US embassy in Beijing.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said the question did not come within the scope of the news briefing, which was about high level talks next week in Beijing between the United States and China.

"So I have no information to give you," he said when asked about Chen, a blind rural campaigner who supporters have said escaped house arrest and is probably inside the US embassy.

Chen's reported escape comes days before China and the United States are due to hold high-level talks in Beijing. The US government has not commented on Chen's whereabouts.

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