Barack Obama silent on China activist Chen Guangcheng
1 May 2012 Last updated at 22:19 BST
Activists claim Mr Chen entered the US embassy in Beijing earlier this month, after slipping out of his home.
US and Chinese officials are thought to be in talks on his fate.
Neither side wants the issue to disrupt strategic and economic talks, but can they keep it off the table?
Damian Grammaticas reports.