Friday 6 December 2019

Blind activist 'in medical care'

Chen Guangcheng
Chen Guangcheng

Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng is in a Beijing medical facility and will be reunited with his family, a senior US official said today.

He did not give any additional details on Mr Chen's whereabouts or condition.

Mr Chen, who fell foul of local government officials for exposing forced abortions and other abuses, escaped from house arrest late last month and was believed to have been in Beijing under US protection.

The Chinese government's news service, Xinhua, reported that Mr Chen left the US Embassy after staying there for six days.

His flight into US hands had handed Washington and Beijing a delicate human rights crisis at a time when they are trying to shore up rocky relations.

The resolution of the fate of Mr Chen came shortly after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Beijing for two days of annual strategic talks which threatened to be overshadowed by the self-taught lawyer's fate.

Xinhua said Mr Chen left the US Embassy "of his own volition".

The news service also said in the brief English-language report that the Chinese Foreign Ministry has demanded the US "apologise for a Chinese citizen's entering" the embassy.

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