Chinese police officers watch over journalists outside the hospital where Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng is recuperating in Beijing on Thursday. Photo:AP
United States and Chinese officials on Thursday called for measures to deepen trust at the start of an annual strategic dialogue, a day after the two countries grappled with a major diplomatic crisis over the case of Chinese lawyer and activist Chen Guangcheng.
The fate of the visually challenged rights campaigner remained unclear on Thursday after it emerged that he had expressed strong reservations about a deal reached by U.S. and Chinese officials to arrange his leaving of the American Embassy in Beijing, following a six-day stand-off with Chinese authorities.
U.S. officials came under strong criticism from activists on Wednesday after Mr. Chen revealed that he had actually wanted to leave China along with his family, and only agreed to exit the embassy after Chinese officials threatened to send his wife back to their home village in Shandong, where she had been beaten by local security personnel in recent days.
Mr. Chen spent Thursday at Beijing's Chaoyang hospital, which was surrounded by dozens of police personnel. He is receiving treatment for injuries sustained during his daring escape from Dongshigu village, where he had been kept under illegal house arrest for more than a year and a half on account of his legal activism against forced abortions.
U.S. officials on Thursday mounted a defence of the deal they reached with Chinese officials, saying Mr. Chen had changed his mind after agreeing to a deal to enroll in a university in China following assurances given by Chinese authorities over the safety of his family.
Read more at The Hindu