CHINA's best known dissident, Wei Jingsheng, is ''absolutely free'', his younger brother Wei Xiaotao said yesterday. Wei Jingsheng, who was released from 14 years in jail on Tuesday morning, has not yet returned home because he wants to ''rest and get a better understanding of the situation'', his brother said. Wei Xiaotao, a chemical engineer, who was taken to see his brother at a villa to the north of Beijing late on Wednesday evening said the 44-year-old former Democracy Wall activist could return home at any time he wished. His decision not to return home immediately was entirely voluntary, he added. ''He doesn't understand very well today's social life. He said he wanted to better understand current things . . . [by] looking around, walking around and chatting,'' Mr Wei said. ''He's probably gone fishing or having shooting practice,'' he said. However, Wei Jingsheng was still accompanied by police officers everywhere he went, ''to make things convenient'', he added. Mr Wei described his brother as being in a good mood and in high spirits. Asked if his brother's political views had changed, he said he was ''more mature'' and considered things from an overall perspective. ''Just after opening up, he didn't really understand American political and social democracy. But he's clear on the question of market economics,'' he said. ''Of course he won't be as radical . . . I told him to avoid saying too many provocative things. You can be active, but not as extreme as before,'' he said, adding that there were no restrictions on what his brother would be allowed to do or say. When he was ready to return to the city, Wei Jingsheng would probably stay with his brother rather than his parents, because his father, a retired senior official from the Ministry of Construction, was old and in ill health. Having a lot of friends over to the house would be inconvenient for Wei Zilin, 68, he added. He also said that while relations between father and son were now better, political differences remained. Wei Xiaotao said his brother's main concern was what he would do on his return to normal life. But he was adamant that his brother would not follow the lead of other released dissidents and go into business. That was ''absolutely impossible'', he said. Wei Jingsheng did not say in his conversation with his brother whether he would like to get married. Mr Wei's former girlfriend married a German and lives in Germany with their four children. Wei Xiaotao said the authorities had offered to arrange a press conference for his brother when he felt he was ready to talk to the international and local media. But in a letter handed to Wei Xiaotao, his brother said he needed time to rest before facing the world again. The letter, which the family said was genuine, states: ''Respected journalists, ladies and gentlemen. I was paroled on September 14 and am now resting. ''I will return to the city within a few days and meet all my friends. Thank you all for your concern.''