Chen Takes Off For U.S.

    In this photo released by the US Embassy Beijing Press Office, blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng sits in a chair at the U.S. embassy before he left for a hospital in Beijing, Wednesday, May 2, 2012. (AP Photo/U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office, HO)

    Handout, U.S. Embassy Beijing Press Office / AP Photo

    Weeks after a dramatic escape from house arrest, a perilous race across hundreds of miles, and an international donnybrook that strained relations between America and China, a United Airlines flight bearing activist Chen Guangcheng took off from Beijing bound for the U.S. on Saturday. In a phone call to friends earlier Saturday, Chen reportedly voiced concerns about the safety of the friends and relatives he’s leaving behind. The 40-year-old human rights attorney and his family were taken from the hospital where Chen had sought medical treatment after leaving the U.S. Embassy to Beijing International Airport. Chen and his family have business-class seats on the flight to Newark, which took off at about 5:30 p.m. local time.

    Read it at The New York Times