Document 1 of 5.
Copyright 1997 Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse
November 28, 1997
SECTION: International news
LENGTH: 255 words
HEADLINE: Dissidents call on Wei Jingsheng to lead Chinese democratic movement
DATELINE: BEIJING, Nov 28
Four Chinese groups opposed to the communist government have called on released
dissident Wei Jingsheng to take charge of the country's democratic movement.
"For almost 20 years, Wei Jingsheng fought strongly for the democratic movement
China," said the four foreign-based groups
in a statement released by the Information Centre of Human Rights and
Democratic Movement in
"Despite his ordeals, he has not changed his ideal. In doing so he has won the
respect of all Chinese dissidents."
Wei, who is considered the father of the democratic movement, was freed by
China on November 16 after spending nearly all the past 18 years in prison. He
went to the
United States for medical treatment.
The groups backing Wei were named as the Paris-based Federation for Democratic
China and the US-based the
Party for Freedom and Democracy in China, Chinese Democratic Party and Alliance for a Democratic China.
Their appeal came, however, only a
few days after two dissidents who have remained in China, Xu Wenli and Ren
Wanding, who said Wei had been falsely made the torchbearer of the Chinese
Wei said Tuesday he would not get involved in the
"internal quarrels" of the dissident movement.
The four democracy
groups called on all dissidents to meet for a congress
"to find precise working methods and to set aims."
They said they hoped Wei Jingsheng
"will take part in the coordination of all the parties so a new page can be
turned for China's Democratic
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