Beijing (CNN) -- Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng left the U.S. Embassy in Beijing under duress Wednesday, a friend of the activist's told CNN, contradicting reports that he departed of his own volition.
Zeng Jinyan, a close friend of Chen and his wife, said that contrary to statements by U.S. and Chinese officials, Chen was forced to leave the embassy after local authorities threatened his wife with violence if he chose to stay.
The human rights activist is at the center of a controversy between the United States and China. He escaped house arrest, took refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for six days and left for a hospital Wednesday.
Chen's presence in the U.S. Embassy prompted a flurry of diplomatic activity between the United States and China. Read More