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Document 11 of 39.


Copyright 1998 Agence France Presse  
Agence France Presse

July 19, 1998 04:51 GMT

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 288 words

HEADLINE: Chinese dissident group slams arrest of Mao Guoliang

DATELINE: BEIJING, July 19

BODY:
   A US-based group of Chinese dissidents on Sunday condemned the arrest in eastern China of prominent activist Mao Guoliang.

"We are calling for the State Department of the USA to take stronger action against the Chinese government's crackdown on opposition political effort," the Free China Movement Coalition, which groups around 30 dissident organisations in and outside China, said in a statement.

It called into question the unconditional granting of most favoured nation (MFN) trading status to China by the US, which governs normal trade relations between countries.

"To grant China unconditional MFN this year (in the face of) the Chinese government's resolution to continuous violation of human rights is immoral and politically wrong," the coalition said, calling for a re-evaluation of the White House's policy of engagement with China on human rights issues.

Mao, a teacher in Anji city, Zhejiang province, was picked up by more than 10 police officers early Friday while he mourned his mother who died two days earlier.

No explanation was given for the arrest.

Mao belongs to the Chinese Democracy Party (CDP) which three members tried to legally register in nearby Hangzhou city on June 25 -- the day US President Bill Clinton arrived in China for a landmark visit.

Zhejiang police had previously detained nine activists involved in the bold bid to set up the party, the first known attempt of its kind in five decades of communist rule.

Five were promptly released, but Wang Youcai, Wang Donghai, Zhu Yufu and Zhu Zhengming remain in custody.

Lin Hui, who accompanied Wang Youcai and Wang Donghai in personally submitting the party's application to authorities, was also detained.

ldm/cf

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH

LOAD-DATE: July 19, 1998



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