China in a Minute May 4,2012

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Hi, this is Chris Chappell. Today in China

The US State Department and Chinese officials both released statements about rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng. The US is offering him and his family sanctuary and a chance to study at an American University. The statement made by the Chinese regime however, is not so clear. It says he has a right to apply for a passport (quote) "like any other Chinese citizen." However, that means returning to his hometown where he was first persecuted. Several China experts say that could be playing right into the hands of security chief Zhou Yongkang, the man behind Chen's imprisonment and, according to some, behind the recent threats to his family.

Shortly after the US State Department's announcement, New York University announced it was inviting Chen Guangcheng to study there as a visiting scholar. It's possible Chen could be in New York as soon as next month.

But there's no such good news for Chen's lawyer, Jiang Tianyong. While attempting to visit Chen in the hospital, he was captured, beaten, and has since been placed under house arrest.

And in economic news, China's steel markets continue to flounder as mills try to balance often conflicting needs of the market and the State.

Plus, after a two day meeting between US and Chinese leaders, China has agreed to ease what the US had called unfair trade practices favoring domestic businesses.