Document 11 of 22.
Copyright 1998 Associated Press
July 02, 1998; Thursday
15:22 Eastern Time
SECTION: International news
LENGTH: 512 words
HEADLINE: Dissidents: Clinton Trip a Failure
BYLINE: DONNA ABU-NASR
President Clinton was naive with his Chinese communist hosts and his stepping
on a red carpet in Tiananmen Square was like stepping on the blood of the
victims who fell in 1989, Chinese dissidents said Thursday.
''We think President Clinton's trip ... is really a kind of disappointment''
Shengde Lian, a leader of the 1989 democracy demonstrations on Tiananmen Square. ''His
words don't help the Chinese in any way.''
As Clinton winds down his nine-day tour of China, leaders of dissident
organizations in Washington are expressing dismay about the president's trip
despite his open exchanges on human rights with Chinese President Jiang Zemin
and students at Peking University.
The leaders claim the president was not
forceful enough with Zemin and other officials about human rights and religious
freedoms and should have pressured the Chinese leaders to introduce laws that
protect those rights.
Indeed, some leaders, like Ye Ning, a human rights activist tortured by the
Chinese government for his pro-democracy activities,
said Clinton's visit has hurt democracy movements in China.
''Clinton has given the image to the world, especially to the Chinese people
... and opposition forces that the government of the United States strongly and
unconditionally supports the Chinese mainstream communist leaders,'' said Ye.
''That kind of message is very harmful to any potential of Chinese
change and the (opposition).''
Bao Ge, a founding member of the Voice of Human Rights jailed for his
activities, said even though Clinton talked to Zemin about human rights, he did
not achieve any substantial improvements.
''He didn't exert any pressure on Zemin,'' said Bao. ''If
Jiang doesn't do (anything), what will Clinton do next?''
Lian, jailed for two years for his Tiananmen Square activities, said progress
on human rights should be measured by what takes place on the ground, such as
the arrests of dissidents during Clinton's tour, and not the ''public shows''
government put on.
Clinton was ''pretty naive,'' Lian said, contending most questions posed by the
Peking University students had been prepared by the authorities, and one of the
queries pushed Clinton into criticizing the human rights situation in the
Lian said Clinton should have met with the relatives of the
victims of Tiananmen Square and opposition leaders.
''In Tiananmen Square, he really did not make any gestures about the democratic
movement in China,'' said Lian. ''He also stepped on the red carpet which made
me and many other Chinese people feel that he's stepping on the blood of the
(victims) of the communist regime.''
Joel Segal, American director of the Free China Movement, a coalition of more
than 30 Chinese dissident organizations, said if China fails to improve its
human rights record, there must be ''strong, negative repercussions'' by
Congress, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
''Otherwise, we'll all be
cooperating with evil and when you cooperate with evil, you are evil,'' said
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