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Activist now wants to leave China

Activist now wants to leave China
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Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng says he fears for his family’s safety and wants to leave China.

His comments come despite an agreement between US and Chinese officials that would help him and his family begin a new life away from his home village.

The activist took refuge for a week at the US Embassy in Beijing before being taken to a nearby hospital on Wednesday for a check-up, once the assurances had been made.

Speaking from his hospital room, Chen told a reporter from the Associated Press news agency: “If I didn’t leave, they (the Chinese authorities) would endanger my family and send them back to Shandong. Also, I got the feeling that the US government and the embassy were quite supportive of me leaving.”

He then appealed to the US to help his whole family to “leave (China) safely.”

Chen served four years in prison and was then kept under illegal house arrest, on what his supporters say were fabricated charges, after he exposed the plight of women undergoing forced abortions in his native Shandong province.

He sought refuge from the US embassy, a move which has created a diplomatic tussle between Beijing and Washington.

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