May 5 - Security tight outside dissident Chen Guangcheng's Beijing hospital as Hong Kong residents welcome decision to allow him to study in the U.S. Sunita Rappai reports.
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The Beijing hospital where blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng - at the centre of a diplomatic standoff between the U.S. and China - is believed to be staying.
Security is tight around the hospital where Chen, seen here with U.S. ambassador Gary Locke, was apparently taken by U.S. officials for treatment for a broken foot on Wednesday.
The crisis erupted two weeks ago after the 40-year-old activist sought shelter in the U.S. embassy following a dramatic escape from house arrest.
After a very public appeal by Chen to the U.S. Congress, and high level talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, China said on Friday that Guangcheng could apply to study abroad.
However, rights activists have sounded a note of caution, saying China could delay the move but the news was welcomed by residents here in Hong Kong.
(SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) HONG KONG RESIDENT AND GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE, PATRICK TSANG, SAYING:
"When I heard about this, I felt happy. Because all along, from what I've heard about his experiences in the news, he has been hurt many times. This is a rare opportunity for him to go to the United States."
Chen, a self-taught legal activist, had spent 19 months under house arrest in his rural village before fleeing to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
Sunita Rappai, Reuters
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