May 2 - The U.S. says escaped Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has left its embassy in Beijing for hospital checks. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng was escorted out of the U.S. embassy in Beijing on Wednesday (May 2) by U.S. ambassador Gary Locke, who took him to a local hospital, The Washington Post said. Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng left the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Wednesday "of his own volition" after being there for six days, state media said, and China denounced the United States for interfering in its internal affairs. It was not immediately clear whether Chen will stay in China, as he has said he wants to do, or whether the medical check is a prelude to sending him abroad for medical treatment, which could be a face-saving solution for Beijing that does not rule out Chen's return. Chen's departure comes on the eve of high-level U.S.-China talks and with both governments sensitive to the impact of the drama on domestic politics -- a U.S. presidential election and a Chinese Communist Party leadership handover later this year. Hours before Chen left the embassy U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in China for top-level talks that risked being upstaged by the drama over the dissident. Rights lawyer Teng Biao said he had spoken briefly to Chen's wife, Yuan Weijing, and that she and their two children were now in Beijing.