Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has left the US embassy in Beijing, after being there for six days.
Reports say the American ambassador accompanied the blind activist, who sought shelter in the building after fleeing from house arrest.
He is thought to be have been taken to a medical facility to be reunited with relatives.
Wednesday’s developments took place as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in China for top-level talks.
“It certainly puts human rights into the forefront,” said Joshua Rosenzweig, an independent human rights researcher. “The strategic and economic dialogue has always been criticised for marginalising the human rights part of the US-China relationship, but that won’t be possible this year.”
Clinton’s talks risk being upstaged by the drama over Chen amid speculation he could leave with her for the US afterwards.
Beijing has denounced Washington for interfering in its internal affairs.