US says visas ready for Chinese activist and family
The United States said Tuesday that visas are ready for activist Chen Guangcheng and his family once the Chinese authorities allow him to leave the country for the United States.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that "all of the processing on the US side has been completed" to provide visas to Chen, his wife and two children.
"We are ready when he and his government are ready. We have been for more than a week now in terms of his visa to come pursue his studies," Nuland said.
She said Chen has informed US officials through daily contacts that Chen's "conversations, contacts and processing continue" on the Chinese side.
US officials said May 4 that China would allow the blind self-taught lawyer to leave soon to study in the United States, after he dramatically fled house arrest and took refuge in the US embassy.
Chen, who angered authorities by exposing forced abortions and sterilization under China's one-child policy, remains in a Beijing hospital for treatment of injuries, with Chinese officials publicly quiet on his case.
New York University has said it has invited Chen to be a visiting scholar at NYU, either in New York or one of the institution's global sites.