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Chinese Students Here Plan Constitutional Convention With AM-China Bjt

June 21, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Chinese students in the United States urged the Bush administration Wednesday to step up economic pressure on the Beijing government and announced plans to assemble in Washington next month to write a constitution for a free China.

″The only language the Chinese government can listen to is economic sanctions,″ said Ding Xueliang, 36, a sociologist and graduate student at Harvard University.

At a news conference at Constitution Hall, Ding and a dozen other Chinese student organizers unveiled the formation of an umbrella group, the Alliance of Chinese Patriots, to represent their pro-democracy colleagues in the United States. They also disclosed new tactics to get news into China of the government’s brutal crackdown on the movement.

The information effort, according to Zhang Ya Qin, a student at George Washington University, will include random mailings from cities around the world and the transmission of newspaper and magazine photos and articles to 1,000 fax receivers throughout China. The students also intend to begin publishing in New York their own bi-monthly magazine, called China Archives.

As for the argument that a suspension of trade and development assistance would only weaken Western influence and deprive the Chinese people, Ding asked: ″How can you imagine that a government which kills its own people would use foreign currency to benefit its people?″

President Bush froze U.S. military sales to China in the wake of the bloody June 4 attack against student demonstrators in Beijing and elsewhere, and on Tuesday he took steps to block at least $1.4 billion worth of international development loans. China still retains most-favored-natio n trade status with the United States, however, and calls have escalated in Congress for him to take sterner measures.

Speaking just hours after Shanghai authorities executed three protestors, Ding and his colleagues said thousands of Chinese students in the United States already have signed a declaration of principles calling for a constitutional convention in exile. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service said recently there are 73,000 Chinese with active U.S. student visas.

Ye Ning, a student at American University, said ″a constitutional convention can be the banner of the Chinese people in their fight for freedom ... the government is now trying to put the genie back into the bottle, and it will find that very difficult.″

No date has been fixed for the gathering, to be attended principally by Chinese law students, but it will occur sometime next month, said Ding. ″We’ve received strong moral support from Congress and legal scholars in the United States,″ he said. ″We believe in the United States - we have learned from your Constitution.″

The declaration circulated by the group says: ″As the world watches, we, the Chinese people, are today engaged in an epic struggle to cast off the chains that have bound us for two generations. The present system has been tried in China and has failed. It has produced hunger where there should be plenty, corruption where there should be integrity, servitude where there should be freedom.″

It listed these ″principles that guide our struggle for freedom″:

″1. Every individual is born with equal and inalienable human rights.

2. The basic right of every individual is the right to be free, the right to plan and live his or her own life. This right entails all other rights, including the rights of speech, press, assembly, association, religion, property, and privacy.

3. To secure these rights, individuals create government, to which they give only as much power as is necessary to secure their rights.

4. A government is legitimate only if it rests on the consent of the governed.

5. The people retain the right to deny legitimacy to their government by withdrawing their consent.″

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