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Monday June 29 3:28 PM EDT

Another Chinese Dissident Arrested

ELAINE KURTENBACH Associated Press Writer

BEIJING (AP) - A democracy activist who was trying to set up an
opposition political party was detained Monday by Chinese police - the
latest dissident rounded up during President Clinton's visit.

Plainclothes police showed up at Wang Youcai's home in the eastern city
of Hangzhou on Monday, according to dissident groups in the United
States and Hong Kong.

Wang had tried to register his China Democracy Party with provincial
authorities Friday but was turned away. He had planned to try again
Monday afternoon, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights
and Democratic Movement said.

His application marked the first time Chinese dissidents have openly
tried to gain government approval for an opposition party, the
Washington-based Free China Movement reported.

Wang, a student leader in the democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen
Square in 1989, was at least the sixth dissident taken into custody
since Wednesday. He spent 2{ years in prison for helping lead the 1989
protests and has had repeated run-ins with police ever since.

His detention came as Clinton left Beijing for Shanghai, China's
financial center. Clinton took up the previous arrests with President
Jiang Zemin, but Jiang afterward defended the police action as important
for security.

On this visit to China, Clinton has emphasized the need for the
government to allow more freedom. At Peking University on Monday, he
said China needed a freer society to maintain its economic prosperity.

Clinton has refused appeals by Chinese human rights campaigners to meet
with a dissident, however.

A group of 125 Chinese dissidents urged Clinton on Monday to meet former
Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang, who was ousted by party elders for
resisting the 1989 military crackdown.

Zhao has lived under house arrest since being purged nine years ago and
remains a potent symbol of a more tolerant era in Chinese politics. Last
week, he reportedly sent party leaders a letter urging a reassessment of
the protests.

In an open letter released Monday, the 125 dissidents said Zhao would
have pushed democratic reforms together with economic ones, and in the
process the corruption and unemployment that China faces now would have
been less severe.

Four of the six dissidents detained in the past week were arrested in
Xi'an, Clinton's first stop, and released after he left.

Authorities in Guilin have told the family of democracy activist Li
Xiaolong that he will not be freed until after Clinton tours that
southern city on Thursday.
 
 
 


 

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