BEIJING (AP) — With a series of quickly choreographed steps, the U.S. and China outlined a tentative deal Friday to send a blind legal activist to America for study and potentially bring a face-saving end to a delicate diplomatic crisis.
The arrangements, if kept, promise to give Chen Guangcheng much of what he wanted: a chance to live with his family in safety and to get a formal legal education. It would also allow Washington and Beijing to put aside a rancorous human rights dispute to focus on managing their rivalry for global influence.
As part of the deal, China’s Foreign Ministry said Chen can apply for travel permits to study abroad. The State Department said an American university — later identified as New York University — has offered a fellowship for Chen with provisions for his family. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. expects Beijing to process the travel permits quickly, and once done, visas would be issued.
In a sign that not all was settled, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered a guarded assessment.