Document 37 of 39.
Copyright 1998 Central News Agency
Central News Agency
June 5, 1998, Friday
LENGTH: 593 words
HEADLINE: WASHINGTON COMMEMORATES JUNE 4TH WITH DECLARATION
BYLINE: By Nelson Chung and Flor Wang
DATELINE: Washington, June 4
Washington D. C. Mayor Marion Barry on Thursday declared June 4th
"Freedom and Democracy in China Day" to commemorate the deaths of thousands of protesters killed in a bloody
military crack down in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Announcing the declaration
at a news conference, Barry said Washington D. C. supports all those who have
fought for democracy, as freedom belongs to every citizen around the world.
Meanwhile, more than 100 mainland Chinese dissidents based in the United States
launched a three-day
seminar here on Thursday to mark the ninth anniversary of the June 4 incident.
Lian Shengde, co-founder of the Free China Forum which sponsored the symposium,
called the gathering a historical
"meeting of union" among all mainland Chinese dissidents living in exile abroad.
With assistance from US
congressmen, academics, human rights and religious groups, as well as former
government officials, Lian said they are planning to set up a
"Free China Movement" in an effort to gain support from the US government for pro-democracy
activists and political reformists in the mainland.
government should revoke the most favored nation trading status and impose
trade sanctions on mainland China until Beijing agrees to respect human rights,
end the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and resolve international
disputes through peaceful means, Lian claimed.
Wang Dan, a
former pro-democracy student leader and prominent dissident who was recently
released by Beijing on medical parole to the United States, sent a
congratulatory message to Lian to show his support for a free China.
Ye Ning, a lawyer from mainland China who has
reportedly suffered over 200 incidents of torture by communist authorities
since he was 14 years old, called the regime in Beijing the biggest threat to
world peace as it is responsible for the slaughter of over 60 million people.
"strategical partnership" engagement policy adopted by the
US government to deal with mainland China will impede the democratization
process in the mainland, Ye said. He called on Washington to suspend any move
which would help Chinese communists foster.
Zhou Yungjun, one of the leaders in the 1989 student-led protests, urged
American people to
back democracy movements in the mainland and assist them in their efforts to
bring about changes there.
On the eve of the June 4 anniversary, New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani
declared Thursday as
"New York Backs Democracy in China Day" to commemorate those killed or persecuted for
seeking democracy and freedom.
Giuliani said in a public statement that New York City admires all those who
sacrificed their lives in a struggle for democracy, especially those in
mainland China. The efforts pro-democracy advocates have awakened the American
people, he said, allowing them to
understand that millions of people still live under a repressive regime.
Giuliani has always been a staunch supporter of democracy in mainland China and
often publicly criticizes Beijing for its autocratic rule.
The mayor refused to meet mainland Chinese President Jiang Zemin last November
while Jiang was visiting New York. But he received Wei Jiangsheng, the most
prominent mainland Chinese dissident who was set free by Beijing on medical
parole to the United States, shortly after that.
More than 300 overseas Chinese and democracy activists from mainland China,
Wang Dan, also took part in a protest outside Beijing's consulate here on
Thursday to mark the June 4 massacre.
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