Chinese dissident seeks to leave country following threats

  • Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has said he wants to leave the country following claims of threats made by Chinese authorities.

    Chen left the U.S. embassy in Beijing on Wednesday, a decision that officials say he made on his own.

    The blind self-taught lawyer and activist later said he regretted the move and wants U.S. officials to assist him and his family’s move to the United States.

    Last month, 40-year-old Chen escaped house arrest in the eastern Chinese village of Shandong and fled to Beijing where he took refuge in the embassy for six days.

    Chen had been confined to his home following a four-year prison sentence over his legal support for victims of forced abortions and sterilizations.

    His presence at the embassy prompted a spate of diplomatic activity between the United States and China and threatened to overshadow U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trade talks scheduled for this week.