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Beijing Foreign Ministry Says Chinese Man to Join Italian Wife

March 31, 1989

BEIJING (AP) _ China bowed to the iron will of a pregnant Italian woman on Friday and said it will allow her Chinese husband to join her in Italy. The woman had threatened to give birth in front of the Chinese Embassy in Rome.

The Foreign Ministry said Friday it has decided for humanitarian reasons to let former diplomat Zhu Juwang, 28, rejoin his wife, Patrizia Riccardi, 33.

She has been living outside the embassy and has threatened to go on a hunger strike unless Beijing issues a passport to Zhu.

Her baby is due at any time and she has pledged to give birth in her camper outside the embassy.

The ministry said in a statement that her father talked to the embassy on Tuesday and guaranteed that Zhu would have a job in Naples.

″Out of humanitarian consideration and for the friendship between China and Italy, the Chinese side decided to accept his suggestion to allow Zhu Juwang to leave China as soon as possible and go to work in Italy.″

An official of the Italian Embassy in Beijing, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Foreign Ministry informed the embassy Thursday that Zhu had been asked to come to Beijing at once from Shanghai to receive his passport.

He said the Italian Embassy will give Zhu a visa to go to Italy as soon as he appears with his Chinese passport.

Zhu reportedly angered Chinese authorities when he wrote a letter to the United Nations saying he had been forced to resign as a diplomat at the Geneva U.N. offices because of his marriage to a foreigner.

The Chinese confiscated his passport, saying Zhu had resigned voluntarily and had slandered the Chinese government with his letter.

In Rome, his wife had told reporters, ″If my husband hasn’t arrived in Italy by Sunday, I will begin a hunger strike. ... If he doesn’t come, I will give birth alone in the camper.″

When she was told by a Chinese Embassy official on Wednesday that the dispute was resolved, and Zhu could leave ″at any moment,″ Ms. Riccardi was unconvinced and said, ″I will not leave until he is on a plane for Italy.″

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