Criticism turns to the US as Chen Guangcheng leaves embassy
Criticism turns to the US as Chen Guangcheng leaves embassySocial media users in China and abroad rally in support of blind dissident who fled house arrest.
Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng after fleeing from house arrest (Photo taken April 2012 and released to Reuters April 28, 2012.)
Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng said on Wednesday that Chinese authorities threatened to beat his wife to death if he did not leave the US embassy. This announcement apparently varies from earlier claims by US officials that Chen had left the embassy "of his own volition" with clear assurances of his safety from Beijing.
Chen spent six days at the American embassy after he escaped from house arrest in Shandong Province. He has since been taken to a nearby hospital and says he wants to leave China due to fears for his family's safety.
Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokeswoman, said, "At no time did any US official speak to Chen about physical or legal threats to his wife and children."
Chen's dramatic announcement has sparked huge criticism among Chinese social media users against the Obama administration.