Chinese Activist Leaves US Embassy Amid Threats

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The Chinese activist at the center of diplomatic back and forth between the United States and China has left the U.S. embassy in his country amid death threats.

Chen Guangcheng said he was told the Chinese government would kill his wife if he tried to leave the country. So instead of seeking asylum outside of China, the blind lawyer accepted a deal to stay.

Hours after a deal had been reached between China and the U.S. on how to handle his escape, Chen told The Associated Press he still fears for his safety and wants to leave the country.

"I think we'd like to rest in a place outside of China," Chen said. "Help my family and me leave safely."

Chen escaped from house arrest last week and sought protection at the U.S. embassy in Beijing.

The Chinese government was holding Chen and his family captive because he was outspoken about China's human right violations, specifically it's forced one-child policy.

Chen's escape threatened to derail annual U.S. and China strategic talks involving U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that starts Thursday.

Chen, 40, received a call from Clinton, whom he thanked in Chinese for raising his case.

As part of the agreement that ended the behind-the-scenes standoff, U.S. officials said China agreed to let Chen receive a medical checkup and be reunited with his family at a Beijing hospital.

His wife and two children joined him there on Wednesday afternoon. He would then be relocated to a safe place in China where he could study at university, all demands activists said Chen had raised.

Now that Chen has decided to leave the U.S. embassy because of possible threats, his lawyer said he may have no choice but to go to the United States.

China is now demanding an apology from the U.S. for Chen breaking the agreement.

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