Obama aide mum on whether US protecting activist

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A top White House aide isn't saying whether a Chinese dissident who escaped from house arrest is under American protection in Beijing, as activists claim.

But counterterrorism adviser John Brennan says President Barack Obama "will do whatever he thinks is in the best interests of the United States as well as the individuals involved."

The escape by legal activist Chen Guangcheng and his possible flight to the U.S. Embassy or other diplomatic grounds could threaten relations between the powers just as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner head to Beijing for long-planned strategic and economic talks this coming week.

Brennan tells "Fox News Sunday" that "we're going to make sure that we do this in the appropriate way and the appropriate balance is struck."

He's confident the U.S. "will be able to find the right way forward," although he's not saying what that means.