Chinese dissident leaves US embassy in Beijing, Clinton visit starts

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has left the US embassy in Beijing where, the US says, he was seeking medical help, in a first confirmation that he was at the embassy. His six-day stay had potential to badly strain relations between the two countries just as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to begin a state visit to discuss tough issues such as differences over Syria and trade. But Chen is reportedly happy with the outcome, which makes him a free man and will allow him to continue his studies; he had been under house arrest for his political activities.

Hillary Clinton issued a statement noting, “Mr. Chen has a number of understandings with the Chinese government about his future, including the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment. Making these commitments a reality is the next crucial task. The United States Government and the American people are committed to remaining engaged with Mr. Chen and his family in the days, weeks, and years ahead.”

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