A possible breakthrough emerged today in the case of Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese activist who made a daring escape from house arrest and took refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing before venturing out amid U.S.-Chinese negotiations over his future.
The Chinese government said Chen could apply to travel to the United States to study -- a development that the United States instantly cited as an encouraging sign of progress in what has been a thorny and controversial impasse.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Chen has been offered a fellowship from an American university "where he can be accompanied by his wife and two children."
"The Chinese government has indicated that it will accept Mr. Chen's applications for appropriate travel documents. The United States government expects that the Chinese government will expeditiously process his applications for these documents, and make accommodations for his current medical condition. The United S tates government would then give visa requests for him and his immediate family priority attention," she said. "This matter has been handled in the spirit of a cooperative U.S.-China partnership."
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