Document 1 of 2.
Copyright 1999 Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse
January 02, 1999
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.
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
"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
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
"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
1998 LEXIS®-NEXIS®, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
All rights reserved.