Chinese activist who fled house arrest lands in US

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Chinese activist Chen Guancheng (R) speaks as Jerome Cohen (L), adjunct senior fellow for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, looks on at the Council on Foreign Relations on May 31, 2012 in New York City. This was Chen's first major public engagement since he escaped confinement and left China nearly two weeks ago. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

BEIJING (AP) — A blind Chinese legal activist who was suddenly allowed to leave the country has arrived in the United States.

Chen Guangcheng (chuhn gwahng-chuhng) was accompanied by his wife and two children Saturday evening at Newark Liberty International Airport, outside New York City. He had been hurriedly taken from a Chinese hospital hours earlier and put on a plane after authorities told him to prepare to leave.

After seven years of prison and house arrest, Chen escaped from his village in April and was given sanctuary inside the U.S. Embassy. Officials struck a deal that let Chen walk free, but he had second thoughts. That forced new negotiations that led to an agreement to send him to the U.S. to study law at New York University.