Document 2 of 12.
Copyright 1999 Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse
February 28, 1999
SECTION: International news
LENGTH: 361 words
HEADLINE: China dissidents cancel conference in face of crackdown
DATELINE: BEIJING, Feb 28
Chinese opposition party activists have cancelled plans for a nationwide
meeting planned for Monday in the face of a crackdown by authorities on the
organisers, an overseas dissident group said Sunday.
"The ... China Democracy Party (CDP) ... announces the cancellation of the
Discussion Forum scheduled from March 1 to March 3 due to the harsh crackdown
by the Communist government," the CDP said in a faxed statement issued through the US-based
Free China Movement.
The move came just hours before US Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright was expected to arrive in Beijing for a visit aimed at smoothing rocky
bilateral relations and preparing for Premier Zhu Rongji's trip to the US in
The CDP had planned the meetings to discuss China's obligations under the two
United Nations conventions on human rights, both of which China has signed but
not yet ratified.
It was to be the first major move by the outlawed party since three prominent
members were handed stiff jail
sentences in December.
In a new round of detentions, Wu Yilong was arrested at his home in the eastern
city of Hangzhou late Friday by two police officers who did not give a reason
for the detention, his wife Shan Chenfeng told AFP.
Wu is believed to be closely allied with CDP founder Wang Youcai, who was
jailed for 11 years last December after he applied to formally register China's
first opposition party under communist rule.
Two activists in the central city of Wuhan, where the meeting was to have been
held, were still
behind bars Sunday, dissident sources said.
Chen Zhonghe and Xiao Shichang both remained in detention Sunday after being
taken away from their homes on Tuesday.
CDP members had planned their conference to be held just ahead of the opening
on March 5 of the annual full
session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament.
As the NPC meeting approaches, Beijing has ordered local authorities to be on
the lookout for protests during the two weeks of the parliamentary session,
according to the Hong Kong-based Information Centre of Human Rights and
Democratic Movement in China.
LOAD-DATE: February 27, 1999
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