China says that blind dissident Chen Guangcheng can apply to study overseas. The United States has confirmed that he has been offered a fellowship by an American university.
It could mean an end to the diplomatic crisis between Beijing and Washington – sparked by Chen escaping house arrest and taking refuge for six days at the US embassy in the Chinese capital.
“He confirms that he and his family now want to go to the United States so that he can pursue his studies,” said Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State.
“In that regard we are also encouraged by the official statement issued today by the Chinese government confirming that he can apply to travel abroad for this purpose,” she continued.
The developments come after Chen spoke to a US congressional hearing by telephone, asking for help to leave China with his family.
America says visa requests would be given “priority attention”.