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Two Dissidents Arrested in China

June 29, 1999

BEIJING (AP) _ Chinese police dragged two democracy campaigners from their homes Tuesday in the latest arrests of members of an outlawed political opposition party.

Police ransacked the Beijing homes of Zha Jianguo and Gao Hongming and took the two away, family members said.

The Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China reported that police also seized a computer, documents and other books and papers.

Zha and Gao last year helped prominent dissident Xu Wenli organize the China Democracy Party in the Chinese capital and its port city of Tianjin. After Xu was jailed for 13 years for subversion in December, the two assumed more direct leadership and have had repeated run-ins with police. Most recently, they were detained for five to six days in early June.

The Information Center, which monitors dissident activities, estimates that at least 190 dissidents have been taken in by police since NATO bombed the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia on May 7. Thirty of them have not been released and another 31 are under tight surveillance at home, the group said.

China’s communist government has used the embassy bombing to launch a nationalistic, anti-U.S. propaganda campaign in the entirely state-run media. Strident editorials have denounced dissidents, calling them traitors in the service of foreign masters intent on westernizing China.

Many dissidents held in the latest crackdown are members of the year-old China Democracy Party, the Information Center said.

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