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---"Focused Coverage Informed Perspectives"---
Sun, Nov 16, 1997 edition
Wei Jingsheng Exiled to US
but human rights group say thousands more languish in jails

Also in this edition . . .

1: Human Rights in China welcomes release, calls for thousands more to go free
2: Li and co. wind up visit, looking to past promoters of friendship
3: new regulations announced for investment funds
4: Li Peng outlines 5 principles for aiding world peace and stability
5: ROC lodges complaint over PRC-Japan fisheries accord
6: Lee says he'll not attend APEC summit, will send top advisor instead
7: SEF's head hails Beijing's call for negotiations
8: In Taiwan's campaigns dirty tricks, cancer and erotica---anything goes for turning on voters
9: increase in calls concerning sexual problems
10: Chinese official calls in Yangon
11: "'Mrs Aris' Destabilization of Tranquility of the Nation"
12: In Burma NLD calls SLORC's accusations baseless and its actions unlawful


Political prisoners: Wei Jingsheng exiled to the US for 'medical treatment'
( SCMP Internet Edition ) ( China Frees Top Dissident Just Weeks After Summit )

Released from prison yesterday and put on a plane to the United States, one of China's most famous dissidents is now in exile. The official Xinhua News Agency said Mr Wei Jingsheng, 47, was released on medical grounds, as he is suffering from heart and liver ailments. The official announcement came four hours after Mr Wei departed on a 10:35 am Northwest Airlines flight on Saturday. Accompanied by a US Embassy official and a doctor, the ailing dissident was said by his family to be in good spirits and resolved to return to his homeland. The plane was bound for Detroit.

In the last eighteen years Mr Wei spent all but six months in prison for his outspoken stances on democracy and political liberalization. A former Red Guard, he worked for a time as an electrician in the Beijing Zoo when he boldly challenged the regime during the Democracy Wall movement in 1978 and 1979. The period marked the outset of Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms, heralded under the rubric of the 'four modernizations' in agriculture, industry, science and technology, and defense. In an open letter entitled "Do We Want Democracy or New Autocracy?" Mr Wei openly criticized Deng Xiaoping for what he characterized as reform measures designed merely to strengthen the Communist Party's hold. Mr Wei argued the 'four modernizations' did not go far enough, and in his most famous essay written on the Democracy Wall in large characters he advocated for the "Fifth Modernization: democracy."

His efforts were met with swift and steep punishment from the regime which tried him for 'counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement'. Mr Wei was sentenced to 15 years in prison. From jail Mr Wei did not relent in his criticisms of a regime which would stifle people and ideas counter to its own agenda and hold on power. As the New York Times reports, in 1989 Mr Wei wrote in another letter to Deng Xiaoping, "So, now that you've successfully carried out a military coup to deal with a group of unarmed and politically inexperienced students and citizens, how do you feel?"

As dissidents themselves also become symbols of the very repression against which they endeavor to correct Mr Wei and others have found vocal support from individuals and governments around the world. But he has also become a bargaining chip used by China's government for conducting its diplomacy. In 1993 the government's agenda was to secure Beijing as the site of the 2000 Olympics. With fanfare and nationalistic resolve the media machine throughout China pumped up enthusiasm, and to placate foreign critics Mr Wei found himself freed.

Six months later in early 1994, "after he had dinner with the United States assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights who was accompanying Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Beijing, Mr. Wei was rearrested and sentenced to an additional 14 years," reports the Times.

( CND Extra - WEI Jingsheng Has Been Released, Arriving in the US Sunday ) Xinhua News Agency said in an official news release referring to the reasons surrounding his 1994 rearrest that "an investigation by Beijing's municipal public security departments showed Wei had conducted activities in (an) attempt to overthrow the government after his release on parole," reports China News Digest. As CND further reports,

    Wei Jingsheng's family members dismissed the new charges as absurd, questioning how one man could overthrow the Communist Party while under constant police surveillance during his parole. "What evidence is there?" one relative who asked not to be identified said. "It's a frame-up." "Such a big country, such a big party and yet they cannot tolerate one or two words of criticism. They're too fragile," the relative said.

Saturday's exile comes two weeks after President Jiang's summit trip to the United States, and is being interpreted as the PRC's way to further warm these relations. The US government has wanted a similar gesture prior to the summit, but perhaps Mr Jiang would have appeared to his constituency at home as overly accommodating and weak. One wonders, with a little creative ingenuity, whether he could have turned it to his political advantage. . . .

( Wang's mother holds little hope ) Meanwhile, the mother of Wang Dan, 28, said she saw little hope for an early release for her son, who is serving an 11-year sentence for 'subversion.'

    "We are anxious, but we can only wait and see. I guess releasing one is better than none, but I don't want to say that this release gives us hope because, in the end, the Government still holds the power," she said. "I can't even get a reply to my letters. They should at least respond. It makes Wang Dan angry as well. How can I have confidence?"

( A passport to hope follows years of despair ) Wei Jingsheng knew five days ago he would be leaving---to where he did not know. . . .

Reaction: Human Rights in China welcomes release, calls for thousands more to go free
( Human Rights in China demands release of further political prisoners" ) Xiao Qiang, Executive Director of HRIC, released a statement today welcoming the release of Wei Jingsheng. But Mr Xiong said the release of Mr Wei did not represent an improvement in human rights in China. "It is a disgrace that the Chinese government holds its own citizens hostage in a game of international politics. Sending one more dissident into exile does not represent an improvement in China's human rights situation. It is in fact another form of human right's persecution," he wrote.

In his statement Mr Xiong quickly refocused the entire issue back onto the thousands of obscure dissidents, little known outside of China, who still languish in prisons there:

    "Human Rights in China calls on President Clinton to make the unconditional release of other Chinese political prisoners -- those who may not be as internationally known as Wei Jingsheng, but who are equally as important -- a condition of his visiting China next year. A list that represents just some of the current political prisoners in China is attached for President Clinton." ( Recent Cases of Political Imprisonment )

So long as these people remain in prison, said Mr Xiong, freedom of expression would be denied to all of China's people.

See also ( Key dates )

( Bittersweet reaction by HK activists )

( Dissidents seeking a new era )

( Abuses still appalling, say rights groups )

( US summit prompted Beijing decision )


Japan: Li and co. wind up visit, looking to past promoters of friendship
( Premier ends Japan visit on positive note ) Premier Li Peng ended his visit to Japan, and relations appear to be on friendly and warm terms, reports the South China Morning Post. Mr Li ended his trip in Nara, an ancient capital and place of a Buddhist monastery temple founded in 759 AD by the Chinese monk Jianzhen, "who devoted himself to fostering friendly ties between Japan and China," writes the paper.

The symbolism intended by the trip underscores how both governments are eager to foster fruitful exchanges and work through issues. Mr Li had arrived with the recently revised US-Japan defence pact on his mind. The pact requires Japan's aid to US forces in the event of a regional crisis. China's government worried such an agreement would encompass Taiwan.

    "Prime Minister Hashimoto has told me that the new Japan-US security co-operation guideline is of a defensive nature, in conformity with the framework of Japan's constitution, and does not run counter to the basic principles enshrined in the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship," Mr Li said. "It would be perfect if Prime Minister Hashimoto would clarify that such co-operation does not involve or include Taiwan."

Meanwhile . . . ( Automobile technology interests Li ) Touring a Toyota automobile factory yesterday, Premier Li Peng had his eyes on the new Crown model, sporting a hybrid gasoline-electric propulsion system. But what colour was it?

Finance: new regulations announced for investment funds
( State issues rules governing securities investment funds ) The China Daily reports the State Council Securities Commission has published long-anticipated regulations governing the management of investment funds, "According to the regulations, divided into seven chapters, the securities investment funds may be open-ended or close-ended, and establishment of such funds must get approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC). The announcement also said that the commission will gradually expand its experiment in the establishment of such funds. In addition, the State Council Securities Commission and the People's Bank of China will issue other regulations on standardizing the approximately 100 existing investment funds. "

The article offers few details beyond this.

Japan: Li Peng outlines 5 principles for aiding world peace and stability
Chinese Premier Li Peng on Wednesday unveiled his five principles for aiding world peace and stability with Japan and expressed strong interest in four-way talks also involving Russia and the United States. But Li expressed deep concern at new US-Japan security guidelines, which Beijing feels may give Japan a role in any future conflict in the Taiwan Strait.

Li also told Japanese parliamentarians during a meeting with Takako Doi, head of Japan's Social Democratic Party, that Tokyo should stay out of a possible quarrel between mainland China and Taiwan.

Social Democratic Party officials said Li raised the Taiwan issue in a discussion about new guidelines for US-Japan military cooperation, which have irritated Beijing because they do not specify a geographical limit as in the past when operations were confined to direct threats to Japan. The officials quoted Li as saying that he did not receive a firm verbal commitment from Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto that Taiwan was out of the picture in the guidelines.

Mainland China says the new agreement leaves room for Japan to interfere in a possible conflict between mainland China and Taiwan across the Taiwan Strait. Doi did not directly reply Li's comment about Taiwan.

See also

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Japan: ROC lodges complaint over PRC-Japan fisheries accord
The foreign ministry has lodged a protest against a fisheries agreement Tokyo signed with Beijing on Tuesday, according to a foreign ministry official.

"The government of the Republic of China by no means accepts the fisheries accord Tokyo and Beijing sealed that might infringe our sovereignty or damage the fishing rights of our fishermen," the ministry said in a statement released late Tuesday.

The agreement, officially signed on Tuesday, covered provisional measures for joint fishing restrictions in certain waters, and a basic agreement to maintain the status quo in other waters which are disputed.

Tokyo and Beijing have announced exclusive economic zones which overlap near a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as the Shenkaku islands in Japanese and Tiaoyutais in Chinese. Taipei also claims the islands. The ROC's foreign ministry also called on Tokyo to open fisheries talks with Taipei.

See also, and

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APEC summit: Lee says he'll send top advisor in his place

    President Lee Teng-hui will decline an invitation to attend this month's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Canada and send top adviser Koo Chen-fu in his place, the presidential office said on Thursday.

    The low-key announcement marks a break with Taipei's past insistence that Lee be permitted to attend alongside other APEC heads of government, a demand to which Beijing strenuously objects.

    Beijing claims Taiwan as a province under its authority, having no sovereign status, and says APEC is primarily an economic, not a political, organization.

    Lee's presence at the informal meeting of heads of government, held after the annual meeting of APEC economics ministers, would accord him undue recognition, Beijing argues.

    In past years, Taipei has demanded that as a full member of APEC, its head of state has every right to attend the summit. But Taipei has been turned down each time by host nations fearing a boycott by mainland China.

    Lee's office said the president received an invitation from an envoy of Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, but after careful consideration he decided to send Koo in his place.

    Koo, a leading businessman, is also chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation, a quasi-official organization that handles negotiations with Beijing in the absence of formal cross-strait ties. It would be Koo's third time representing the president at APEC meetings. He represented Lee at last year's summit in the Philippines and at the 1995 summit in Osaka, Japan.

    This year's summit will be held Nov. 25 in Vancouver, Canada. In Taiwan, press speculation was rift that mainland Chinese President Jiang Zemin, who has announced he will attend the event, might take advantage of the APEC forum to hold a meeting with Koo. The two had met and exchanged greetings at previous APEC summits, but never held any important discussions.

    See also

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Cross-strait relations: SEF's head hails Beijing's call for negotiations

    Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Koo Chen-fu on Thursday hailed Beijing's call for negotiations as a good start for paving a way to restore a dialogue between him and his Beijing counterpart.

    Koo, who as SEF chairman acts as Taipei's chief negotiator with the mainland, said he agreed with the proposal to have his deputy, Chiao Jen-ho, meet first with Tang Shubei, vice chairman of Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), to discuss preparatory and procedural matters.

    Koo said his talks with ARATS Chairman Wang Dao-han could be launched at an appropriate time after the preparatory work is done.

    Koo's remarks were made in response to a news statement released by ARATS on Tuesday, in which it proposed a step-by-step approach to the dialogue in order to make arrangements for official talks on political issues and other matters of mutual concern.

    Politely turning down the SEF's request to have Koo lead a delegation of SEF board directors to visit mainland China in mid-December, ARATS said it would welcome Koo's visit at an appropriate time--referring to prospective Koo-Wang talks.

    The SEF has not received any official document from ARATS, but Taipei has considered the ARATS message a more substantial indication of Beijing's willingness to resume dialogue with Taipei.

    In Beijing, Tang elaborated on the proposal to SEF Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ching-ping when they met Tuesday night. Lee, who is on a visit to mainland China together with a delegation of postal service officials, told Taiwan reporters that the atmosphere of the meeting was pleasant.

    Tang reportedly told Lee that both groups should first make arrangements for cross-strait political talks. In this process, Tang said, other economic and technical issues of mutual concern could also be discussed simultaneously.

    He said ARATS had released a news statement, instead of sending a letter to the SEF, because it had not ruled out the possibility of other arrangements and ideas.

    See also

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Election coverage: dirty tricks, cancer and erotica---anything goes for turning on voters

    (source: The China Post) While swearing, muckraking, and mudslinging have dominated the campaign for the Nov. 29 election, poll candidates have come up with ideas as malicious and erotic as possible to attract voters.

    Candidates normally would threaten to commit hara-kiri, if they are found to have wrongly accused their rivals, but it is already a cliche.

    Cancer may become the latest fad. The ruling Kuomintang's candidate, Chen Keng-teh, in the Taoyuan County commissioner race yesterday swore that he would die of cancer if his rival's accusations against him were factual. If not, the rival, incumbent Commissioner Annette Lu Hsiu-lien of the Democratic Progressive Party, would contract the disease and could not live beyond next year, Chen proclaimed.

    In Miaoli County, sex was the common theme in the candidates' exchange of verbal blow.

    Incumbent Commissioner Ho Chih-huei (KMT) accused independent Fu Hsueh-peng of running sex-trade bars and watching striptease shows, among many other crimes, the United Evening News reported.

    Dismissing the accusations, Fu's camp said a certain candidate was a gangster in his youth, acting as bodyguard for striptease shows, having raped his sister-in-law, and tricked many other women into having sex with him, the paper said.

    The eroticism was explicit in these attacks. But in another case, subtly aroused a controversy.

    In a rally for independent Nantou County commissioner candidate Peng Pai-shian, an aide said Kaohsiung Mayor Wu Den-yih (KMT) had already loaned his wife to Shi Hwei-yow (Peng's rival) for "use".

    The wife, Tsai Ling-yi, who started helping Shi's campaign two months ago, claimed the word "use" was deliberately a sexual pun.

    Accompanied by a crowd of women who displayed a banner that read "Give women back their dignity," Tsai went to the Nan-tou District Prosecutor's Office to sue Peng for slander.

    Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian's "Formosa Campaign Corps" recruited new blood - Li Hung-hsi, his former law professor at National Taiwan University, and Luo Wen-jia, his right-hand man who just stepped down as Taipei's director of information.

    At the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, KMT Secretary-General Wu Poh-hsiung kicked off a round-the-island tour in a motorized "flower float" complete with singing and dancing.

    New Party Secretary-General Wang Chien-shien and other party leaders flew to the offshore island of Kin-men to shore up support for NP county chief and candidate Li Chu-feng.

    See also

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Society: increase in calls concerning sexual problems
( SCMP Internet Edition ) We get a glimpse into Hong Kong's society with figures released by Samaritan Befrienders. According to the organization, more people are calling for advice about their sexual problems. As the South China Morning Post reports,
    Among those who sought help, 149 were male and 22 female, compared with 111 and 15 respectively last year.

    "There were homosexuals and those who favoured abusive sex. They got very worried that they were abnormal and would not be accepted by others. Some wanted to change their sex," said Suen Ka-yin, who is in charge of the hotline centre.

Other issues discussed by callers includes love relationships (24 percent) and marital problems (15 percent). At the top of the list, family disputes accounted for 18 percent of the problems discussed by callers. Also the organization saw an increase of callers when the financial crisis in the territory's markets first unfolded.

Periodically China Informed publishes stories and information pertinent to events in Burma.
Past stories have dealt with Sino-Burma relations and other matters.
Below are extracts from recent 'press releases' by the ruling military junta,
the so-called SLORC, and one by the National League for Democracy.

Sino-Burma relations: 'Official Calls In Yangon On 12 November'
(source: SLORC Information sheet no. A-0206(I) dated 13-11-97) The State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) published the following, "Vice-Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) General Maung Aye received goodwill delegation led by Commander of Lanzhou Military Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army General Liu Jingsong and members at Zeya Thiri Beikman on Konmyinttha, Yangon."

Aung San Su Kyi ''Mrs Aris' Destabilization of Tranquility of the Nation'
(source: SLORC Information Sheet no. A-0207(I/L) dated 13-11-97) The following was published by SLORC to explain why it could not permit Daw Aung San Su Kyi, a leading figure in Burma's National League for Democracy, from leaving her compound to meet with members of the NLD's youth wing in Hlaing Township, a few miles outside of Rangoon. This was the second time Ms Su Kyi and party officials attempted such a trip, and the second time she was barred from doing so.

Daw Su Kyi and members of the NLD went to the NLD office of Hlaing Township on 13 November to conduct Youth Movement. She gave the task of organizing this Youth Movement Programme to NLD Hlaing Township Chairman U Myint Than. NLD Yangon Division prepared the letter regarding the Youth Movement and send it to the Hlaing Township Law and Order Restoration Council. But U Myint Than (Chairman of NLD Hlaing Township) replied to Daw Su Kyi stating that it is not appropriate to organize the Youth Movement now and it should be conducted only after the National Day which falls on the 24 November.

However, NLD Central Executive Member U Soe Myint pressured U Myint Than and forced him to materialize the movement.. U Myint Than explained the fact that it is impossible and this action would confront the authorities concerned. U Myint Than also added that this movement would also destabilize the ward society and confuse the problem, so that he cannot perform such acts that possess no political dignity, it is learnt.

However, the intimation letter for the Youth Movement in the NLD office of Hlaing Township has been sent to the Township Law and Order Restoration Council. At 2 pm the responsible personnel of NLD Hlaing Township have been legally called and briefed by the Township Law and Order Restoration Council official informing them it is not allowed to conduct the organization movement.

Then, Deputy Chairman of NLD, Hlaing Township U Hla Myint has reported the order of rejection of Township Law and Order Restoration Council to NLD Head Quarters at 3 pm. U Myint Than himself, the owner of the house has also refused to allow this movement. On account of this force of pressure and weight U Myint Than has resigned from the post of Chairman of NLD, Hlaing Township and also the party-membership and the resignation letter has been sent to NLD Head Quarters on the very early morning of 13 November, it is learnt.

U Aung Shwe and U Tin Oo arrived at her residence at 8:15 am on 13 November and after 5-minute talk with her left the residence. Then, Daw Su Kyi left her house by car. On her departure the security officer enquired her out-going place but Daw Su Kyi replied rudely that it is not necessary and he can stay behind if he does and left her house. So the security personnel concerned have not opened the gate and the University Avenue Road remained closed as before. Simultaneously, about 40/50 members of NLD party have assembled with cars at the facade of the NLD office, Yangon Division and Daw Su Kyi has left her residence without telling anything about her whereabouts of out-going to the on-close-security personnel.

Close and careful observation of the movement activities clearly revealed the underlying ulterior motive and plan to proceed with a huge crowd in a convoy of cars to disrupt the peace and tranquility in the city. Such a situation cannot be tolerated or condoned, thus to prevent further aggravation of the problem, the University Avenue has been sealed off and Daw Su Kyi requested not to proceed to the NLD office, where a large number of cars and people have gathered. In spite of the courteous request she has refused to comply and as a gesture of protest she refused to get out of the car, it is learnt.

Follow up Information of Information Sheet A. 0207(I/L) 13 Nov. (Information sheet no. A-0208(I/L) dated 13-11-97) At 0830 hrs, Daw Suu Kyi left her residence to proceed to Hlaing Township. But University Avenue had initially been closed to the traffic. So Daw Suu Kyi's car also was not permitted to proceed.

Daw Suu Kyi however declined to inform security personnel on duty as to her destination, and from 0830 onwards had her car parked on the road and remained seated in it. The place where her car was parked was only a short distance away from her residence and she could easily have returned to her compound to wait there and explained matters to security personnel to resolve the situation. But refusing to take this positive line of action, she insisted on remaining in her car. It is evident that she herself therefore was deliberately creating hardship for herself.

It is also obvious, that this was just a ruse on her part to make it appear as if the Government were deliberately obstructing her movements in order to create misunderstanding internationally, and thus discredit the Government.

Therefore, it is clear that Daw Suu Kyi's actions are part of a devious political ploy, prompted by ill intentions with the purpose of bringing about a confrontation with the government.

NLD: NLD calls SLORC's accusations baseless and its actions unlawful
(source: NLD statement no. 12/97 unofficially translated by the Burma Office of the NCGUB )

NO. (97/B), West Shwegondine Road
Bahan Township, Rangoon

1. On 5/11/97, it was arranged for youths from the Tamwe Township NLD Office to be assigned duties and responsibilities. The Tamwe Township NLD notified the local Law & Order Restoration Council (LORC) Office on 3/11/97 of the proposed arrangements. The authorities then used various unlawful means to block, obstruct and prevent the meeting from taking place.

2. Moreover, the Tamwe Township LORC issued a letter [No. 027/1-1/Ma Wa Ta (Ta Ma) on 4/11/97, stating:-

    It has been noted that the NLD has been extending its activities and carrying out Youth Organisation in the townships. By so doing, the peace and tranquillity of the community and the prevalence of Law & Order could be harmed. Further, it could also hinder the social and economic development of the country. Therefore, permission can not be granted regarding the letter referring to the gathering of persons in Tamwe Township.

How can a groundless accusation based on opinion such as this be made against a legitimate organisation going about its lawful business? This is but an absolutely untrue and groundless accusation.

3. The NLD has stood as a legitimate organisation in accordance with the laws of the registration of political parties and has carried out its work in line with democratic principles for democracy and human rights. The lawful work of a legitimate political party, carried out in a lawful way can in no way harm the peace and tranquillity of the community. It is also totally out of context to state that it hinders social and economic development.

4. The authorities concerned also barred the (NLD) General Secretary, who has been given the responsibility of carrying out Youth Organisation work, from leaving her compound. Further, Vice Chairman U Tin Oo, who came to the compound to make enquiries about the situation, was denied entrance to her compound.

5. Some (50) NLD Youth members and NLD Women members were arrested and taken away. They had entered the Tamwe Township NLD Office in accordance with all the regulations stipulated by and with the permission of the authorities concerned.

This (a) although no meeting was held in the office, and (b) clearly there was no defiance of orders as the office was occupied with the permission of authorities [one line blurred]

6. These actions against a legitimate organisation's lawful activities in accordance with democratic principles carried out peacefully and calmly is but an unlawful act of obstruction. It is a very inappropriate action. It also greatly hampers national reconciliation. The NLD is the political party which won a landslide victory with the support of the mass of the people in the 1990 multi-party democratic elections.

Therefore, we declare that we roundly condemn unlawful obstructions, hindrances and limitations of the right of the NLD to carry out its lawful activities.

Central Executive Committee
National League for Democracy
5 November 1997

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©1997 Matthew Sinclair-Day
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