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Document 20 of 39.


Copyright 1998 Associated Press  
AP Worldstream

July 11, 1998; Saturday 06:27 Eastern Time

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 540 words

HEADLINE: Chinese police detain nine dissidents

BYLINE: CHARLES HUTZLER


DATELINE: BEIJING

BODY:
    Police detained nine Chinese democracy campaigners in a crackdown exiled dissidents said Saturday proves U.S. President Bill Clinton left China without securing progress on human rights.

The nine, mostly veterans of past democracy movements, have tried to set up a political party to challenge the Communist Party's monopoly on power. Their push coincided with Clinton's China trip and his less confrontational appeals to Chinese leaders to improve human rights.

Police began the wave of detentions Friday morning, taking Wu Gaoxing from his home in eastern Zhejiang province's Taizhou city, dissident groups in Hong Kong and the United States said.

Around 8 p.m. Friday, 250 kilometers (150 miles) to the northwest in Hangzhou city, police swarmed over the home of Wang Youcai and led away Wang, Wang Peijian and Cheng Fan and three others all members of the China Democracy Party, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement said.

In separate raids on their Hangzhou homes, police took away Zhu Yufu and Wang Donghai, the Information Center and the U.S.-based Chinese Democratic Justice Party reported.

Police confiscated notebooks, tapes, at least one computer and manifestos and literature for the China Democracy Party, according to the groups.

Wang Youcai, Wang Peijian and one other dissident announced June 25, the start of Clinton's nine-day China tour, that they wanted to set up the China Democracy Party and would register the group with authorities as required by law.

Since then Wang Youcai, Zhu Yufu and another dissident were each detained at least once before Friday's clampdown. They were released with warnings to stop campaigning for the party, and authorities have refused to register the group.

In reporting the detentions, the exiled groups criticized Clinton's China policy as a failure. Clinton used his trip to try to showcase a more modern, tolerant China to a skeptical American public while cajoling Chinese leaders to allow more dissent.

''This is equivalent to giving Clinton a box on the ears,'' the Information Center said in a statement. It added that the detentions ''prove Clinton returned home from his China tour empty-handed.''

''What we said about President Clinton's policy of constructive engagement with China was accurate, that the Chinese government will not work with the free world to improve human rights because they are a brutal communist dictatorship,'' said Lian Shengde, a student leader of the Tiananmen Square democracy demonstrations in 1989 and now the head of the Washington-based Free China Movement.

Like Lian, most of the detained dissidents took part in the 1989 protest movement. Wang Youcai, Wang Peijian and Cheng Fan were students in Beijing. Wang Donghai and Wu Gaoxing staged sympathy protests in Hangzhou.

Wang Youcai spent four years in prison and Wang Donghai and Wu Gaoxing three years in the nationwide crackdown that followed the military's brutal quelling of the protests in Beijing.

The Hong Kong-based Information Center also reported that dissident Fan Yiping, held since March, will be put on trial Monday for helping prominent democracy campaigner Wang Xizhe flee China to avoid arrest.



LANGUAGE: ENGLISH

LOAD-DATE: July 11, 1998



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