The Chinese government has said Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese activist at the centre of a diplomatic crisis that has strained the country's relations with the US, can apply to study abroad "just like any other Chinese citizen".

The announcement comes amid international scrutiny of the treatment of Chen, as his case comes amid high-level talks between the US and China.

During talks in Beijing on Thursday, Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, told Hu Jintao, Chinese president, that relations between the two nations are the strongest they have ever been.

Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker explains.

Source: Al Jazeera