Document 9 of 22.
Copyright 1998 Associated Press
July 03, 1998; Friday
02:21 Eastern Time
SECTION: International news
LENGTH: 465 words
HEADLINE: Clinton Trip Disappoints Dissidents
BYLINE: DONNA ABU-NASR
President Clinton's trip to
China was a disappointment because it has not done much to improve human rights in
that country and has harmed Chinese pro-democracy movements, Chinese dissidents
The dissidents also criticized Clinton's visit to Tiananmen Square, site of the
1989 bloody democracy demonstrations, saying he did
not make any gestures there to the democratic movements in
China and did not meet with the relatives of the victims.
In the square, Clinton ''stepped on the red carpet, which made me and many
other Chinese people feel that he's stepping on the blood of the (victims) of
the communist regime,'' said
Shengde Lian, a
leader of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations.
The dissidents' remarks Thursday came as Clinton ended his nine-day tour of
China. They contended the president was not forceful enough on human rights and
religious freedom issues in meetings with Chinese President Jiang Zemin and
other Chinese officials.
Bao Ge, a founding member of the
Voice of Human Rights who was jailed for his activities, called Clinton's open
exchanges on human rights with Jiang and students at Peking University ''very
shallow'' and said they did not achieve any substantial improvements.
''He didn't exert any pressure on Zemin,'' said Bao. ''If Jiang
doesn't do (anything), what will Clinton do next?''
Ye Ning, a human rights activist tortured by the Chinese government for his
pro-democracy activities, said Clinton's visit has hurt democracy movements in
''Clinton has given the image to the world, especially to the Chinese people
... and opposition
forces that the government of the United States strongly and unconditionally
supports the Chinese mainstream communist leaders,'' said Ye. ''That kind of
message is very harmful to any potential of Chinese change and the
Lian, jailed for two years for his Tiananmen Square activities, said progress
on human rights should be
measured by what takes place on the ground, such as the arrests of dissidents
during Clinton's tour, and not the ''public shows'' the Chinese government put
Clinton was ''pretty naive,'' Lian said. He contended most questions posed by
the Peking University students had been prepared by the authorities, and one of
queries pushed Clinton into criticizing the human rights situation in the
''We think President Clinton's trip ... is really a kind of disappointment''
said Lian. ''His words don't help the Chinese in any way.''
Joel Segal, American director of the Free China Movement, a coalition of
more than 30 Chinese dissident organizations, said if China fails to improve
its human rights record, there must be ''strong, negative repercussions'' by
Congress, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
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