May 19 - Chen Guangcheng leaves Beijing for New York. Julie Noce reports.
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Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has left China for the U.S.
Chen boarded United Airlines flight 88 on Saturday afternoon from Beijing International airport.
Travelers at the airport say they hope Chen's plight will help change the political climate in China.
That climate was put to the test when Chen escaped house arrest last month and sought refuge in the U.S. embassy.
He was being detained for his views against China's one child per family policy and for the country's forced late term abortions and sterilizations.
The situation was a political embarrassment for China and called for delicate diplomacy between the two powerhouses while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was visiting Beijing.
Eventually, a solution was agreed upon-- Chen and his family could travel to the U.S. on a fellowship from New York University.
Chen is due to land at Newark airport in New Jersey on Saturday evening local time.
Julie Noce, Reuters
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