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May 2, 2012 7:28 AM by Kate Richards

Chinese activist leaves U.S. embassy

BEIJING (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng left the U.S. Embassy on his own accord and in keeping with U.S. values.

After speaking with Chen by phone on his way to a hospital in Beijing on Wednesday, Clinton said in a statement that the resolution of his plight reflected his choices and American values.

Clinton, who is in Beijing for high-level strategic talks, says that China promised that Chen could pursue a university education in a safe environment. She said that ensuring those commitments are kept is a crucial task.

Chen, a self-taught lawyer, fled 20 months of house arrest last week and sought refuge in the embassy, setting up a delicate diplomatic tussle for Washington and Beijing.

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