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July 12, 1998, Sunday, Late Edition - Final
SECTION: Section 1; Page 3; Column 1; Foreign Desk
LENGTH: 513 words
China Detains 9 Dissidents Who Sought to Form a Party
DATELINE: BEIJING, July 11
Nine Chinese dissidents who tried to set up an opposition party during
President Clinton's state visit have been arrested, human rights advocates said
today. They said the crackdown demonstrates that Mr. Clinton's trip made little
China's political system.
began the wave of detentions on Friday morning, taking Wu Gaoxing from his home
in Tai zhou in eastern Zhejiang Province, dissident groups in Hong Kong and the
United States said.
Late Friday, about 150 miles to the northwest in the city of Hangzhou, the
police went to the home of Wang Youcai and led away Mr. Wang, Wang Peijian and
Cheng Fan, as well as three others -- all members of the China Democracy Party,
said the Hong Kong-based Information
Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement. In separate raids on their
homes in Hangzhou, the police took away Zhu Yufu and Wang Donghai.
The police confiscated notebooks, tapes, at least one computer and literature
for the China Democracy Party, according to the center and United
Wang Youcai, Wang Peijian and one other dissident announced on June 25, the day
Mr. Clinton arrived in China for his nine-day China tour, that they wanted to
form the China Democracy Party.
Since then Wang Youcai, Mr. Zhu and
another dissident had been detained at least once before Friday's clampdown.
They were released with warnings, and the authorities have refused to register
The exiled groups described Mr. Clinton's China policy as a failure. Mr.
Clinton used his trip to try to show a more tolerant China to Americans
while appealing to Chinese leaders to allow more dissent.
"prove Clinton returned home from his China tour empty-handed," the Information Center said in a statement.
Shengde, head of the Washington-based Free China Movement, said,
"What we said about President Clinton's
policy of constructive engagement with China was accurate, that the Chinese
Government will not work with the free world to improve human rights because
they are a brutal Communist dictatorship."
U.S. Vows More Effort
WASHINGTON, July 11 (By The New York Times) -- A White House spokesman said
today that the Clinton Administration would continue to press China's leaders
to allow the peaceful expression of views by its citizens.
"As the President said while he was in China, the key to
China's future development is to open up its society to greater political
expression," the spokesman, P. J. Crowley, said after learning of the detention of nine
Mr. Crowley dismissed criticism by some exiled dissidents that the action
demonstrated the President's failure to secure meaningful progress
on human rights during his visit to China.
"There are clearly elements within Chinese society who want to resort to the
past practices of repression," he said.
"But the President spoke very forcefully and very eloquently that China, in
order to reach its full potential, will have to allow greater freedom for its
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