[Main Menu] [Help] [Sources]

[Results List][Return to Search][Previous Document][Next Document][Full View][Kwic View]

Document 1 of 2.

Copyright 1999 Agence France Presse  
Agence France Presse

January 02, 1999 08:41 GMT

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 680 words

HEADLINE: New secretive Chinese party will seek to register despite crackdown

DATELINE: (ADDS details and background)

    By Leu Siew Ying

BEIJING, Jan 2 (AFP) - The founders of a new Chinese party announced Saturday via electronic-mail they would seek to formally register the China Labour Party, despite Beijing's tough approach to clamp down on dissent.

Li Yongming, the founder of the China Labour Party, said in an e-mail forwarded to AFP here that a group of young people behind the party wanted to apply to the Beijing civil affairs bureau for approval on April 19.

"We are the generation after 1989 who are dissatisfied with the social situation, the corruption and low efficiency of the Chinese government and lack of rule of law," Li said, referring to the 1989 crackdown on six weeks of pro-democracy protests in Tianamen Square.

US-based dissident Shengde Lian, who helped to publicise the formation of the party, said the group members were not dissidents but ordinary citizens but he declined to provide telephone contact numbers for safety reasons.

Instead, Li sought relative anonymity using e-mail and an alias as mystery surrounded the party.

E-mailed requests to Li for his telephone numbers and details of the party were answered by: "For safety reason, Mr. Li did not reply your e-mail directly but he will do so soon."

Frank Lu, spokesman for the Hong Kong-based Information Centre of Human Rights and Democracy in China, said he had not heard of any attempts by China-based dissidents to set up a new party.

A temporary national committee with 50 members is to be set up and would seek to draw its membership largely from the working class, including retrenched workers, Li said.

"Our party's responsibility is to monitor the Chinese Communist Party and represent the working class," Li said in his e-mail.

"We want to see, if we, who have declared that we will never seek political power and never participate in politics will also be charged with subversion," he said.

Li said the party would devote itself to getting authorities to freeze all bank accounts and carry out an investigation to weed out corruption.

It will push the authorities to stop the restructuring and mergers of state-owned enterprises and set up an effective supervisory mechanism by the people so that the loss of state assets can be arrested.

It also aims to press the government to immediately set up and implement a minimum living allowance for those living in the cities.

Li threatened to "radically commit suicide" if the authorities refused to treat the application in a lawful manner.

China has refused to approve applications to set up the country's first opposition party in 49 years of communist rule.

Courts in China last month sentenced three prominent dissidents associated with the fledgling opposition China Democracy Party to lengthy jail terms for subversion.

Beijing-based Xu Wenli was jailed for 13 years, the party's founder Wang Youcai in eastern Hangzhou city for 11 while Qin Yongmin in central Wuhan was sentenced to 12 years.

The China Democracy Party issued a statement calling on Beijing to free its members and insisting it has the right to exist.

"Opposition parties are the most effective means of restraining and monitoring the Communist Party," the statement said.

"The CDP requests the CPC must get rid of old thought and immediately released arrested CDP members and allow opposition parties to exist."

Another court in central Hunan province jailed labour activist Zhang Shanguang for 10 years last Sunday for endangering state security after he called for the setting up of independent trade unions.

China's crackdown has been widely condemned by dissidents, rights groups and foreign governments who consider it goes against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights China signed in October.

UN human rights chief Mary Robinson on December 22 urged China to grant basic liberties to its citizens.

"I will continue to press for respect of internationally recognized standards on the rights to freedom of opinion, expression and association and the right to a fair trial," Robinson said.



LOAD-DATE: January 02, 1999

[Results List][Return to Search][Previous Document][Next Document][Full View][Kwic View]
[Main Menu] [Help] [Sources]
About LEXIS(R)-NEXIS(R) Terms and Conditions

Copyright © 1998 LEXIS®-NEXIS®, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.