Chinese police have freed three women’s rights activists who were held for more than a month, in a case that sparked an international outcry.
A lawyer for Wei Tingting, Wang Man and Zheng Churan said they were not charged but their release was conditional.
The women, who were detained shortly before International Women’s Day on 8 March, had planned protests against sexual harassment on public transport.
The fate of two other women arrested at the same time is not yet clear.
Their release came as China said it lodged a formal complaint to the US over a statement by Secretary of State John Kerry over the weekend.
Mr Kerry urged for an “unconditional” release of the detainees.
This year International Women’s Day coincided with China’s annual parliamentary session, which usually has tight security and the police regularly detain activists in the lead-up to high-profile events deemed more sensitive.
Among the activities which the activists had planned were a march in a Beijing park where participants would wear stickers advocating safe sex and action against sexual harassment; and gatherings in Beijing and Guangzhou calling for awareness of sexual harassment on buses.
In his statement issued on Friday, Mr Kerry asked China to “immediately and unconditionally” free the women.
He said the women were organising a “peaceful campaign” against sexual harassment and to promote gender equality.
On Monday, China’s foreign affairs spokesman Hong Lei said China lodged representations with the US over Mr Kerry’s comments.
“China is a country of rule of law and runs the country according to the law. Everyone is equal before the law. China’s legal authorities will handle this case in accordance with the law.”
“We urge the United States to respect China’s judicial sovereignty and not use any pretext to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”