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Copyright 2000 Agence France Presse  
Agence France Presse

May 26, 2000, Friday

SECTION: Domestic, non-Washington, general news item

LENGTH: 208 words

HEADLINE: Having lost China trade fight, activists turn to international alliance

DATELINE: WASHINGTON, May 26

BODY:
   Picking themselves up after their stinging defeat in the fight against the US granting Beijing permanent normal trade relations, pro-democracy groups plan to join forces to peacefully change China's political profile, a spokesman said Friday.

"In light of the loss of the annual review of China's human rights policies in Congress, the time has come to unite the overseas pro-democracy movement to stand against China's systematic oppression," said Timothy Cooper, spokesman for the Free China Movement.

The movement is a worldwide coalition of Chinese pro-democracy organizations. Cooper also represents China's outlawed opposition China Democracy Party.

"To accomplish this, we must first promote mutual dialogue and understanding among the overseas groups," Cooper explained in a statement.

To that end, an array of human rights organizations are to meet for a two-day conference here over the weekend, focussing on human rights, democracy and religious freedom in China, Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Taiwan.

Conference participants will also attempt to forge an international alliance of pro-democracy activists "dedicated to peacefully achieving perpetual human rights and democracy in China," the statement said.

smb/mac

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH

LOAD-DATE: May 26, 2000



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