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Document 7 of 12.

Copyright 1999 Agence France Presse  
Agence France Presse

January 11, 1999 05:04 GMT

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 370 words

HEADLINE: Exiled dissident 'dissapears' after attempt to reenter China


   A US-based Chinese dissident "dissapeared" three weeks ago after attempting to secretly reenter China, a Washington-based opposition group said Monday.

Zhou Yongjun, a student demonstrator on Tiananmen Square in 1989, has been out of contact with friends and family since dissapearing from Hong Kong on December 21, the Free China Movement said in a faxed statement.

He reportedly told friends that he would attempt to travel to Beijing and to southwest Sichuan province to visit his parents whom he had not seen since fleeing China in 1992.

Zhou had previously attempted to return to China in mid-December, but was refused entry at the southern border post of Shenzhen and sent back to Hong Kong after being detained for 24 hours, the statement said.

The activist, who spent two years in prison following the Tiananmen Square crackdown, escaped to Hong Kong and was given asylum in the United States in 1992.

According to the rights group, he was in Hong Kong to publish a book by dissident-poet Huang Xiang, also exiled in the United States.

A copy of the book, which denounces the oppression of intellectuals under China's Communist regime, was seized from Zhou when he was detained by mainland authorities in Shenzhen in mid-December.

"I am very worried about his safety because I believe that Mr. Zhou's dissapearance is related to my unpublished book which he carried with him," author Huang Xiang told the Free China Movement.

China has adopted a zero tolerance policy on returning mainland dissidents as part of a nationwide crackdown on "subversive" activity.

Wang Bingzhang, a long-time US exile who returned to China in early 1998 in hopes of setting up an opposition political party, was thrown out of the country after eluding police for more than two weeks.

Two other exiled dissidents, Zhang Lin and Wei Quanbao, were sentenced to three years without trial in "reeducation through labour camps" after clandestinely reentering China on November 10.

Wang Ce, who had lived in exile in Spain for the last decade, is expected to be tried on charges of endangering state security after he reentered China through Portugese-administered Macau in early November.



LOAD-DATE: January 11, 1999

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