One of China’s most prominent Christian dissidents, Yu Jie, said on Friday he has sought exile in the United States, vowing to give a graphic account of a year under house arrest and episodes of torture during a crackdown on dissent in China last year.
Yu did not say whether he formally sought asylum in the United States for himself and his wife and young son, who both left China with him. He has visited the United States many times. Authorities had warned him to keep quiet ahead of his fastest trip, he said.
“Before I left, a senior officer with state security told me that I’d be allowed to go to the United States and can return, but I should know that if I do things in the U.S. that they don’t like, they won’t let me back,” said Yu.
Previous news reports have said that China often has a policy of allowing prominent dissidents to leave the country, but barring them from returning. So dissidents have to be wary about foreign travel since it could potentially turn into exile.