Document 30 of 39.
Copyright 1998 Associated Press
June 29, 1998; Monday
09:05 Eastern Time
SECTION: International news
LENGTH: 475 words
HEADLINE: Chinese dissident arrested trying to register democratic party
BYLINE: ELAINE KURTENBACH
Chinese police detained a democracy campaigner who tried to set up an
opposition political party Monday in the latest dissident roundup during U.S.
President Bill Clinton's
Plainclothes police showed up at Wang Youcai's home in
eastern Hangzhou city at around 1 p.m. and then three hours later took him
away, exiled dissident groups in the United States and Hong Kong said.
Having been turned away by officials Friday, Wang planned to try again Monday
afternoon to register his
Party with provincial authorities, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of
Human Rights and Democratic Movement said.
The application marked the first time Chinese dissidents have openly tried to
gain government approval for an opposition party, the
Free China Movement, based in Washington, said.
Wang, student leader of the massive democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen
Square in 1989, was at least the
sixth dissident taken into custody since Wednesday, the eve of Clinton's
The detention came as Clinton left Beijing for Shanghai, China's financial
center. Clinton took up the previous arrests with President Jiang Zemin at
their summit Saturday, but Jiang afterward defended the police
action as important for security.
During his five days in China, Clinton has emphasized the need for the
government to allow more freedoms. Addressing students and faculty at Peking
University on Monday, Clinton called a freer society necessary to maintaining
economic prosperity in the
Clinton, however, has refused appeals by Chinese democracy and human rights
campaigners to show support for change by meeting with a dissident.
In the latest such appeal, a group of 125 Chinese dissidents called on Clinton
to meet former Communist Party leader Zhao
Ziyang, who was ousted by party elders for resisting the military crackdown on
the Tiananmen protesters.
Zhao has lived under a loose form of house arrest since being purged nine years
ago and remains a potent symbol of a more tolerant era
in Chinese politics. Last week, he reportedly sent party leaders a letter
urging a reassessment of the protests.
In an open letter, dated Sunday and released Monday, the 125 dissidents said
Zhao would have pushed democratic reforms together with economic ones and in
corruption and unemployment would have been less severe.
Wang Youcai spent 2 1/2 years in prison for helping lead the 1989 protests and
has had repeated run-ins with police ever since.
Four of the six dissidents detained by police in the past six days were
Xi'an, Clinton's first stop, and released after the president left.
Authorities in Guilin, however, have told the family of democracy campaigner Li
Xiaolong that he will not be freed until
ometime after Clinton tours the scenic southern city Thursday.
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