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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 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 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 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

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 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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Chinese activist 'not allowed to call family'

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng told a Congressional hearing that he was not permitted to call his family.

I was not fully informed of some of the circumstances [of leaving the embassy]. I was not able to call my family. I have had no communication with them. I don't know what has happened to them.

He said he fears for the life of his family:

So I thing [I am] most concerned with is safety of mother and brothers and I wish to know what is going on with them.

US Embassy staff 'not permitted to see' Chinese activist

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng spoke from his hospital bed in Beijing tonight to members of US Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill.

The purpose of the hearing was to establish whether Chen left the embassy of his own free will, or because he was forced due to threats to his family. He said:

This morning the US embassy personnel called me and told me they were near my hospital. They said the Chinese wouldn't let them come in. They were not permitted to meet with me. They waited all day.

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