The civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng said Thursday that he and his family should receive passports within 15 days allowing them to leave China to the United States, ending a case that has provoked a diplomatic imbroglio between Beijing and Washington.
“Officials came yesterday. We filled out the passport application forms for me, my wife and my children,” Chen said in a phone at the Beijing hospital where he is since he left Embassy of the United States.
“They said that passports should be ready within 15 days”, he added.
This champion of the fight against forced abortions and sterilizations had caused a diplomatic imbroglio by fleeing to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in late April after escaping from house arrest in Shandong Province. Chen left the U.S. Embassy after six days, while the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Beijing.
An agreement between Beijing and Washington had been reached after tough negotiations, China agreed to give passports to Chen and his family “as soon as possible” so they could leave, and Washington will issue them visas.
Chen received a proposal for a grant from the New York University to study law.