AP Exclusive: Activist now wants to leave China



BEIJING (AP) — Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng says a U.S. official told him that Chinese authorities threatened to beat his wife to death had he not left the American Embassy.

Speaking by phone from his hospital room in Beijing on Wednesday night, a shaken Chen told The Associated Press that U.S. officials relayed the threat from the Chinese side.

Chen, who fled to the embassy six day ago, left under an agreement in which he would receive medical care, be reunited with his family and allowed to attend university in a safe place. He says he now fears for his safety and wants to leave the country.

A U.S. official has denied knowledge of the threat, but says Chen was told his family would be sent back home if he stayed in the embassy.