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      Chinese dissident could be allowed to study in U.S.

      Chen Guangcheng

      BEJING, CHINA (CNN/AP) -- China's Foreign Ministry says that blind activist Chen Guangcheng can apply to study abroad, possibly opening the door to resolving a diplomatic standoff with the United States.

      The ministry said in a statement on its website that Chen would be allowed to apply to study overseas "in accordance with laws of relevant departments." It did not immediately give details.

      Chen is seeking U.S. help to leave the country after he fled house arrest and sought refuge at the U.S. Embassy. He is now being treated at a hospital while the two countries discuss his case.

      The ministry statement was the most positive response so far from the Chinese side.

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