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Document 33 of 39.

Copyright 1998 Central News Agency  
Central News Agency

June 24, 1998, Wednesday

LENGTH: 372 words


BYLINE: By Jay Chen & Elizabeth Hsu

DATELINE: Washington, June 24

    US President Bill Clinton's decision to receive military honors from his communist Chinese hosts at Tiananmen Square -- site of the bloody 1989 crackdown -- continued to meet with protests Tuesday from leaders of Congress and various civic groups.

In a statement to the press, House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., said that he and 61 of his colleagues in the House of Representatives have called on Clinton to make human rights the central topic of his nine-day visit to mainland China which starts on Thursday.

Gephardt also urged Clinton to use all the leverage at his disposal, including sanctions, to promote American national interests and values.

During a Congress press conference Wednesday afternoon, Clinton was urged to raise the issue of talks with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, deliver a speech in remembrance of the Tiananmen massacre victims, visit some of the victims' families, and demand that Beijing release political and religious prisoners.

Xiong Yian, a mainland student leader who was jailed for 19 months for his part in the 1989 pro-democracy protest, also attended the press conference. He implored Clinton not to forget Beijing's mass killings and not to embrace the mainland Chinese dictators.

Meanwhile, "Free China Movement" members staged separate protests in front of the mainland Chinese embassy and the White House, where an open letter to Clinton was read which contained the following four appeals:

-- Pressure Beijing into releasing all prisoners jailed for their pro-democracy beliefs;

-- Demand that the mainland authorities recognize their mistake in conducting the June 4 military oppression at Tiananmen Square and punish those responsible for the killing;

-- Ask mainland China to allow freedom of speech, dissemination and association, and to follow international conventions on human rights;

-- Take the previous demands into consideration when planning to continue mainland China's most-favored nation trade status, when discussing Beijing's entry into the World Trade Organization, and when enhancing economic and political relations between Washington and Beijing.


LOAD-DATE: June 25, 1998

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