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Sunday, August 1, 1999 Published at 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Chinese dissident arrives in US

Mr Xie was a student leader during the Tiananmen Square protest

A leading Chinese dissident, Xie Wanjun, has arrived in the United States, three months after escaping from China where he had been under house arrest.

The BBC's David Willis: "Xie blames the Chinese Government for the diplomatic wrangling and delay"
Mr Xie - a founding member of the outlawed Chinese Democracy Party - fled China when he began receiving death threats.

He first went to the American consulate in the Russian city of Vladivostok before flying to New York.

Diplomatic wrangling delayed his departure for three months and it was only after the intervention of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees that he was able to fly on to New York City.

Mr Xie blames the delay on the Chinese government, who he says were pressurising the Russians to prevent him from leaving.

During that time, he says, he has been "formulating strategies" for the Chinese Democracy Party.

"I have made a plan of how to develop the party, and I will dedicate myself to this cause," he said.

On arrival in New York, he said he was both happy and tired.

"I haven't had Chinese food for over three months. I would like to enjoy this Chinese food, I would like to order some Chinese vegetables," he said.

Founders jailed for 'subversion'

Mr Xie was one of several dissidents whose demand for official recognition of the China Democracy Party was rejected in June by authorities.

[ image:  ]
A student leader at the heart of the pro-democracy movement in 1989, he was on the Chinese Government's list of most wanted student leaders after the Tiananmen crackdown.

He set up the party's Shandong province chapter and is one of the few party leaders not jailed by Chinese authorities.

Two others - Zha Jianguo and Gao Hongmin - are due to be tried on Monday on charges of subverting state power, according to a statement released by the Hong Kong-based Information Centre of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China.

At the end of last year, party founders Xu Wenli, Qin Yongmin and Wang Youcai were all jailed for more than 10 years each on charges of subversion.

Mr Xie was placed under house arrest at about the same time that Xu, Quin and Wang were sentenced.

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