Last week, Chen had fled 20 months of house arrest and sought refuge in the U.S. embassy. Although the U.S. neither confirmed or denied his presence in the embassy, this set up a delicate diplomatic battle between the U.S. and China.
On his way to Chaoyang Hospital, Chen called his lawyer confirming that he was free with clear assurances from the Chinese government.
"'I'm free. I've received clear assurances."'
Hillary Clinton's Statement:
I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng’s stay and departure from the U.S. embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values. I was glad to have the chance to speak with him today and to congratulate him on being reunited with his wife and children.
Mr. Chen has a number of understandings with the Chinese government about his future, including the opportunity to pursue higher education in a safe environment. Making these commitments a reality is the next crucial task. The United States government and the American people are committed to remaining engaged with Mr. Chen and his family in the days, weeks, and years ahead.
Clinton is in Beijing for high level strategic talks. This appears to be another diplomatic victory for Hillary Clinton, but time will tell how the Chinese government behaves after Clinton's departure.
The Chen affair drew an angry response from Beijing, which demanded an apology from the U.S. for interference in its internal affairs.
"China is very unhappy over this. The US action is an interference in China’s internal affairs and China cannot accept it," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.
"China demands that the US apologise and thoroughly investigate this incident, deal with the people who are responsible and ensure these types of incidents do not occur again," he said.