Chinese activist Chen gets offer to study in US

Chen received an offer from New York University to be a visiting scholar either in its campus here or at any of the institution`s global sites.

New York: Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng has received an offer from the New York University to be a visiting scholar either in its campus here or at any of the institution`s global sites.

The university extended the invitation to Chen to study at any of its campus as per his choice.

"Chen Guangcheng has long-established relationships with faculty at the NYU School of Law, and has an invitation to be a visiting scholar at NYU -- either in New York or at one of our other global sites. As a visiting scholar, he would be working with our law programmes and scholars," university spokesman John Beckman told a news agency.

Earlier in the day, US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Chen has been offered a fellowship from an American university, where he can be accompanied by his wife and two children.

Nuland said the American government would give "priority attention" to the visa requests for him and his family and that the US expects from China to "expeditiously process" his applications for these documents and make accommodations for his current medical condition.

She further said that the matter has been handled in the spirit of a "cooperative US-China partnership."

The Chinese government has also said Chen has the same right to travel abroad as any other citizen of China and indicated that it will accept his applications for appropriate travel documents.

A blind self-taught lawyer, Chen`s escape from house arrest last month and subsequent refuge at the US Embassy in Beijing kicked off a diplomatic crisis between US and China.

China had sought an apology from the US for allowing Chen to take shelter in its embassy. The issue had virtually overshadowed the two-day high level US-China strategic dialogue for which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Beijing.

Chen had expressed desire to relocate to a different part of China from his hometown in Shandong and to pursue law studies.

He however reversed his initial request to stay in the country and said he wants to move to the US as he feared for the safety of his wife and children.

Addressing media in Beijing at the conclusion of the talks, Clinton said Chen had confirmed to the US Ambassador to China Garry Locke that he wants to go to America along with his wife and two children to pursue studies there.

"In that regard we are also encouraged by the official statement issued by the Chinese government confirming that he can apply to travel abroad to pursue his studies," she said.
"Over the course of the day progress has been made to help him about the future that he wants. We will be staying in touch with him as this process move forward," Clinton said adding that the US would continue to engage with the Chinese government over human rights issues.
"Let me also add that it is not about the well known activist. It is about human rights and aspiration of more than billion people here in China and billion more around the world and future of this great nation and all nations," she said.