The blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has told Sky News he no longer feels safe in his own country and wants to go to the US.
Mr Chen, speaking from hospital, says he is concerned despite a deal with the US that led him to leave the refuge of the US embassy in Beijing.
Sky's Asia correspondent Holly Williams, who spoke to Mr Chen by phone, said: "He says he no longer feels safe in China. He said that inside the American embassy he did not have access to the full information and believed the guarantees given by the Chinese government that he would be safe and free from persecution once released.
"He has since had a chance to speak to his wife and believes that neither he nor his family are safe if they stay in China and he wants to leave this country as soon as possible."
The controversy over the dissident's safety continues to overshadow talks between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and officials in the Chinese capital.
At the start of meetings on Thursday, Mrs Clinton did not address Mr Chen's plight directly but stressed that China has to respect human rights.
"We believe all governments have to answer our citizens' aspirations for dignity and the rule of law and that no nation can or should deny those rights," she said.
Her comments came as Mr Chen pleaded for more help from Washington.
The blind, self-taught lawyer took refuge at the US Embassy after escaping house arrest but left on Wednesday to get hospital treatment for a leg injury.
He initially said he had been assured he would be safe in China but hours later said he fears for his family's safety unless they are spirited abroad.
China had already demanded an apology from the US even before Mr Chen backtracked from the deal that he would remain in his homeland.
Now that he wants to leave and is directly seeking American assistance, the case could become even more difficult for the US delegation in Beijing.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said at the start of the talks that China and the US "must know how to respect each other" even if they disagree.
"Given our different national conditions, it is impossible for both China and the United States to see eye to eye on every issue," he said.
"We should properly manage the differences by improving mutual understanding so these differences will not undermine the larger interests of China-U.S. relations."
Washington had hoped the deal it brokered on Wednesday, which would have seen Mr Chen's family relocated and him allowed to continue his studies, would resolve the crisis.
Mr Chen changed his mind about staying in China after speaking to his wife, who had apparently spoken of recent threats made against his family.
The father-of-two, who is from a village in the rural Shandong province, claimed Chinese officials had surrounded his home and threatened his relatives.
However, it is unclear whether he could travel to the US. Having left the embassy and the protection of the US authorities, his fate is now in the hands of the Chinese authorities.
Mr Chen had already made a personal appeal to US President Barack Obama to help him leave China with his family.
The activist is a self-taught legal advocate who campaigned against forced abortions under China's one-child policy.
Blinded by childhood fever but intimately familiar with the terrain of his village, Chen slipped out of his guarded farmhouse at night on April 22 - ending 19 months of house arrest.
He made his way through fields and forest, along roads and across a narrow river to meet the first of several supporters who helped bring him to Beijing and the embassy.
It took three days for his guards to notice that he was gone.
His situation raises wider questions about the US-China relationship and could prove costly for Mr Obama, who has already been accused of being soft on China by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.