China Slams US as Dissident Leaves Embassy

Chen Guangcheng taken to Beijing hospital
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2012 4:10 AM CDT
Updated May 2, 2012 4:40 AM CDT
Pro-democracy activists hold a picture of Chen Guangcheng during a demonstration in Hong Kong today.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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(Newser) – Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has left the US Embassy in Beijing "of his own volition" after taking refuge there for six days, according to state media. Chen—who escaped from house arrest last month—traveled with US Ambassador Gary Locke to a Beijing hospital, reports the Washington Post. American officials say Chen will receive medical treatment and be reunited with his family. Hillary Clinton arrived in Beijing hours earlier but it's not clear whether she was involved in Chen's departure.

After Chen left the embassy, China's foreign ministry lashed out at the US for sheltering the dissident, Reuters reports. The embassy "took the Chinese citizen Chen Guangcheng into the embassy in an irregular manner, and China expresses its strong dissatisfaction over this," a ministry spokesman said. "The US method was interference in Chinese domestic affairs, and this is totally unacceptable to China. China demands that the United States apologize over this, thoroughly investigate this incident, punish those who are responsible, and give assurances that such incidents will not recur."

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