A prominent Chinese dissident, who escaped to the U.S. last week, has said that he was physically assaulted and harassed in China before he decided to leave the country with his wife and young son.

Yu Jie, 38, is a writer who defiantly published a critical biography of Premier Wen Jiabao in 2010 in Hong Kong. This comes at a sensitive time for the U.S.-China relations. I think the danger of this evil is even greater than the Soviet Union because during the Cold War, the Soviet Union was behind the Iron Curtain and not a part of the globalized world, Yu told a news conference. Not only is the Chinese government persecuting its own people, but also it's exporting this system to other countries, such as in Africa, he added.

Yu said the U.S. officials have assured him of their assistance. He also plans to file a complaint with the U.N. Human Rights Council. Yu told a news conference that his captors burned his face with cigarettes, kicked and slapped him repeatedly. “They stripped off all my clothes and pushed me to the ground and started hitting me -- more than 100 times, Yu said.

I think the Western countries overlooking the human rights issues will even harm their own interests, he added.

Check out the video of the press conference here: