The Madeleine Brand Show for May 4, 2012

Chinese dissident may be allowed to visit US

Chinese Dissident Received In Beijing U.S. Embassy

Handout/Getty Images

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng (C) holds hands with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke (R) May 2, 2012 in Beijing, China. The U.S. had maintained silence after the activist fled to the U.S. embassy on April 26, but U.S. officials opened up over what they say had become a warm relationship with Chen as they negotiated for his safety.

The blind Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng, who set off an international incident after escaping house arrest and fleeing to a U.S. embassy, will now be allowed to leave China according to an official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The United States and China are working on the details of the deal.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to reporters in Beijing earlier today.

"Over the course of the day, progress has been made to help him have the future that he wants, and we will be staying in touch with him as this process moves forward," she said.

The diplomatic twists and turns in Chen's case have played out publicly throughout the week - thanks largely to Twitter. That's a big change from just a few years ago when these kinds of negotiations were held at high levels behind closed doors.

Emily Parker joins the show to talk to Madeleine Brand about how Twitter has influenced Chen's case.


Emily Parker is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and a former member of Secretary Clinton's staff.

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