Diverse Groups Call for Wide Range of Freedoms
Protesters Rail at Jiang


Jiang, Clinton Meet
China Spends Billions
Clinton, Jiang Try to Better Ties
Jiang Zemin Meets U.S. Press
Hollywood Spotlights Tibet
China Weapons Sales Concern U.S.
China and U.S. Face Tough Issues
Congress Would Punish China
Muslims Challenge Chinese Regime
Organs of Executed Chinese Prisoners Sold


E-mail ABCNEWS.com

China - U.S.

“I’m 50 years old and I cannot see that democracy will be filled in China.”
—Zhilang Ching, who fled China recently

About a dozen members of Congress pledged to adopt prisoners of conscience in China or Tibet.

anti-China demonstration outside the White House
Ben Wu takes part in an anti-China demonstration outside the White House, during the visit of Chinese President Jiang Zemin. (Ruth Fremson/AP Photo)

By Kalpana Srinivasan
The Associated Press
W A S H I N G T O N, Oct. 29 — A contrary chorus chanted “stop the genocide in Tibet” and “boycott Chinese goods” as Chinese President Jiang Zemin met President Clinton across Pennsylvania Avenue in the White House today.
     Jiang was out of sight of a rally at Lafayette Park in front of the White House when he stepped into his limousine for the short motorcade ride from the Blair House guest headquarters to the presidential mansion.
     About 100 demonstrators shouted and passed out brochures calling for a free Tibet, the first small wave in a daylong series of protests and vigils.
     Hundreds supporting Taiwan marched from Washington’s grassy Mall to streets around the White House.

‘Change the Politics’
“If we want to transform China into a progressive country, we must change the bad politics first,” said Fang Nengda, a former teacher in China who was placed under house arrest for his political beliefs. “If China does not change the broad system of politics, education cannot make a difference.”
     The pro-Taiwan group urged the United States to stand in support of Taiwanese independence.
     “We want Taiwan to be for the Taiwanese,” said Su Chang, who came to Washington on an overnight bus from Atlanta with about 50 demonstrators.
     They melded into a crowd of “Free China” protesters supporting human rights in China and Tibet, and their voices joined together at a street corner near the White House.
     Four men donned cardboard sheets on which chains were drawn and holes were cut out for their heads and arms, each representing a persecuted Chinese dissident. Supporters gathered around them.
     “I’m 50 years old and I cannot see that democracy will be filled in China,” said Zhilang Ching, who fled China recently and is here under asylum.
     The cardboard represented an ancient Chinese punishment in which prisoners were made to don sheets of metal.

Wide Array of Groups
The visit brought together a diverse collection of groups with nothing else in common except their advocacy of freedom for the Chinese people and others under Beijing’s control.
     On Tuesday night, hundreds rallied outside the Chinese embassy to protest religious persecution in Tibet, annexed by China in 1951.
     “We are here to draw attention to the fact that Tibet is really being suppressed, and its culture is being dissolved.” said Jane Drake, a Buddhist nun.
     Four large red lanterns in the backdrop served as a reminder of the dignitary’s presence in the capital. Speakers at the rally stressed their support for Jiang’s meeting with Clinton but said it should be an opportunity to discuss human rights issues.

Congressional Hearings
Earlier Tuesday, about a dozen members of Congress pledged to adopt prisoners of conscience in China or Tibet and lobby on their behalf with letters to government officials and prison wardens.
     Various religious leaders opened the evening vigil with their prayers for the people of Tibet, as the group lit candles and raised signs in support.
     Former Chinese dissidents and advocacy group officials voiced their concerns in meetings with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms and a House International Affairs Committee panel that deals with human rights.
     One dissident, Li Lu, a survivor of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, said it was “horrifying that the person responsible for this massacre was being received as an honored guest in this country.”

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 1997 ABCNews and Starwave 
Corporation. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, 
rewritten, or redistributed in any form.