Document 1 of 22.
Copyright 1998 Central News Agency
Central News Agency
July 14, 1998, Tuesday
LENGTH: 419 words
HEADLINE: US CALLS FOR THE RELEASE OF MAINLAND DISSIDENTS
BYLINE: By Jay Chen and Flor Wang
DATELINE: Washington, June 12
US State Department spokesman James Rubin on Monday urged Beijing to release
all imprisoned dissidents and said the US will continue asking Chinese
authorities to improve their human rights record.
Answering questions at a regular news briefing, Rubin said the US
government is aware of the reported arrests of about a dozen dissidents in the
mainland, but they cannot confirm the reports.
He said Washington has asked its embassy in Beijing to gain an understanding of
the incidents and asked that mainland authorities release all those dissidents
who remain detained.
Repeating remarks made by US President Bill Clinton during his recent visit to
mainland China, Rubin said Beijing should allow mainland Chinese people to
freely express their political and religious opinions and release all
dissidents who have been arrested for doing so.
Washington's engagement with
Beijing is not equal to its recognition of Beijing's policy, Rubin said.
Washington believes Beijing has
"grave problems" in its human rights policy, pointing to arrests of dissidents who have voiced
different political views and those who attempted to set up a new political
party, he added.
said Washington will continue to raise those questions to Beijing and continue
pushing for improvement.
Asked about whether Beijing's recent arrests of political dissidents following
Clinton's mainland trip were meant as a reaction against Clinton's remarks on
human rights in the mainland, Rubin said
both Clinton and Secretary of State Madelaine Albright had said that they do
not expect mainland China to change overnight.
The spokesman said Clinton's message to mainland leaders is that they must
improve its human rights record if they wish to join the mainstream of the
More than 10 dissidents in Hangzhou were reportedly
arrested by local public security authorities since last weekend for trying to
establish an opposition
"China Democracy Party." Five of them, including Wang Youcai, Wang Donghai and Zhu Yufu currently
Shengde, spokesman for the US-based
China Movement," said mainland pro-democracy activists based here are preparing to launch a
campaign to seek the release of the detained dissidents. He said the detainees
may be sentenced to prison terms of at least 10 years if found guilty of
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