Mother, brother of China activist lawyer Chen Guangcheng depart to visit him in US

The mother and brother of blind Chinese lawyer Chen Guangcheng have boarded a flight to the U.S. for a family reunion amid concerns for the health of an imprisoned relative.

Wang Jinxiang and Chen Guangfu boarded the flight in Beijing on Wednesday morning. They say they're not sure how long they'll stay in New York, but Chen Guangfu said they would definitely return as long as his son Chen Kegui remains in prison in China.

Chen Guangcheng has lived in New York since soon after escaping house arrest in China in dramatic fashion in April last year with his wife and two children.

Chen Kegui was sentenced to three years, three months in prison last November for attacking officials who stormed his home to search for his uncle.