Chinese Dissident Chen Guangcheng Escapes House Arrest

The dramatic nighttime escape of a blind rights lawyer from extralegal house arrest in his village dealt a major embarrassment to the Chinese government and left the United States, which may be sheltering him, with a new diplomatic quandary as it seeks to improve its fraught relationship with Beijing.

A blind legal activist and inspirational figure in China's rights movement fled the house arrest he has lived under and made it to a secret location in Beijing on Friday, setting off a frantic police search for him and those who helped him, activists said.

China dissident Chen Guangcheng is in the US embassy in Beijing following his dramatic escape from house arrest, activist Hu Jia has told the BBC.