Blind Chinese activist leaves Beijing

A plane carrying blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, his wife and their two children, has left Beijing for the Unites States.

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Human rights lawyer: Chen Guangcheng's paperwork could be held up

Chinese human rights lawyer TangJitian has cautioned that Chinese authorities could easily hold up the paperwork todelay Chen Guangcheng leaving the country.

Mr Tang said:

"This notice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is positive news, but how it will play out we don't know.

"For instance, getting the approval for the paperwork to go, there are many potential pitfalls. We can't be 100 percent optimistic."

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Hillary Clinton: 'We will continue engaging with the Chinese Government'

US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has been asked if her administration has bungled the handling of the Chen Guangcheng case, at a press conference in China.

Mrs Clinton responded by saying: "From the beginning all of our efforts with Mr Chen have been guided by his choices and our values."

She also confirmed that Mr Chen had told US ambassador to China, Gary Locke that he wanted to go to America to continue his studies.

Mr Chen has been offered a fellowship from an American university.

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng offered US university fellowship

The US State Department has said that Chen Guangcheng has been offered a fellowship from an American university.

Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said:

"Mr. Chen has been offered a fellowship from an American university, where he can be accompanied by his wife and two children.

"The Chinese Government has indicated that it will accept Mr. Chen's applications for appropriate travel documents.

"The United States government expects that the Chinese government will expeditiously process his applications for these documents, and make accommodations for his current medical condition.

"The United States government would then give visa requests for him and his immediate family priority attention."

– Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the US State Department

Hillary Clinton: 'We are committed to honouring Chen's choices and our values'

Speaking about Chinese authorities decision to allow blind activist Chen Guangcheng to apply to study in America, Hillary Clinton told a news conference in China:

"This is not just about a well-known activist, it's about the human rights and aspirations of more than one billion people hear in China and billions more around the world.

Hillary Clinton speaking in China.
Hillary Clinton speaking in China Credit: Reuters

"It's about the future of this great nation and all nations. We will continue engaging with the Chinese Government at the highest levels and putting these concerns at the height of our diplomacy. We are very committed to honouring both his (Chen's) choices and our values."

Chinese activist describes his situation as 'very dangerous'

Chen Guangcheng in a wheelchair arriving at a Beijing hospital on Wednesday
Chen Guangcheng in a wheelchair arriving at a Beijing hospital on Wednesday accompanied by US ambassador to China, Gary Locke Credit: Reuters

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has described his situation as "very dangerous" in a telephone phone call to The Associated Press from his hospital bed today.

He told the news agency:

"Let me tell you. I can only tell you one thing. My situation right now is very dangerous. For two days, US officials who have wanted to come and see me have not been allowed in.

"Secondly, my friends who have tried to visit me have been beaten.

"Also, my wife wanted to go out today to buy some things but they wouldn't let her go out. She had to ask for permission. Later they let her go out but they followed her."

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Hillary Clinton: human rights are a 'universal right'

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on a visit to China Credit: Reuters

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said during a visit to China that the concept of human rights does not reflect Western values but universal rights.

She said:

"All governments have the responsibility of addressing their citizens' aspirations for dignity and rule of law. These are not Western values - they are universal rights that apply to all people in all places."

Mrs Clinton's prepared remarks to be delivered in Beijing, come as the two countries engage in a spat over the fate of a blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng.

China says dissident Chen Guangcheng can apply to study abroad

Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng is seen in this undated handout picture
Chen Guangcheng, who sought refuge in the US embassy in Beijing after fleeing house arrest Credit: Reuters

China's Foreign Minister have said that blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, who sought refuge in the US embassy in Beijing after fleeing house arrest, can apply to study abroad.

In a statement, spokesman Liu Weimin said:

"Chen Guangcheng is currently being treated in hospital.

"If he wants to study abroad, he can apply through normal channels to the relevant departments in accordance with the law, just like any other Chinese citizen."

Romney hits out at Obama's 'day of shame'

Mitt Romney has criticised the Obama administrations handling of the case of Chinese dissent Chen Guangcheng
Mitt Romney has criticised the Obama administrations handling of the case of Chinese dissent Chen Guangcheng Credit: Reuters

At a campaign event in Virginia Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney suggested the Obama administration may have convinced blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng to leave the embassy to try to curry favor with the Chinese authorities. He said:

"If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and it's a day of shame for the Obama administration. [The embassy] failed to put in place the kind of verifiable measures that would ensure the safety of Mr. Chen and his family."

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