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Beijing Decries Criticism From Abroad; Student Leader Wang Reported Arrested

July 08, 1989|From Times Wire Services

BEIJING — China lashed out at its foreign critics Friday, decrying what it called an international "anti-China wave" since the June massacre of pro-democracy protesters.

At the same time, Chinese sources said Wang Dan, one of the most prominent student leaders of the democracy movement, has been arrested by security agents after eluding capture for more than a month.

A government advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, adopted a resolution condemning "the anti-China wave stirred up by the reactionary forces in the West." The New China News Agency reported the resolution, which also vowed to "continue to develop friendly ties with all countries."

Many governments deplored China's June 3-4 army assault on the student-led protesters pressing for a freer society. The United States, Japan and European countries imposed limited economic sanctions.

China has responded with a series of increasingly defensive statements, reflecting a siege mentality not seen in more than a decade.

Sharp Words Against U.S.

The media directed its sharpest words against the United States, which it accused of human rights violations in its treatment of minorities and demonstrators.

"Is America in any position to say anything to China?" asked the party newspaper People's Daily.

The sources reporting Wang's arrest said they learned from security agents that he was apprehended Thursday, United Press International reported.

Wang, 20, formerly a history major at Beijing University, was a top leader of the student protests in April and May and was among the leaders sought by police. He was on a "most wanted" list of 21 student leaders after the suppression of the movement and the clearing of Tian An Men Square in central Beijing.

Arrested in Beijing

Wang was the seventh of the 21 to have been taken into custody. Sources said he eluded capture until he was arrested at the Yulong Hotel in northwest Beijing's Haidian district, where the major universities involved in the protests are located.

Chinese officials refused to comment on Wang's whereabouts.

More than 2,500 people are known to have been arrested in the dragnet, but the actual number is believed to be far higher. The Washington Post, quoting well-informed Chinese sources, said an estimated 10,000 people have been detained in the nationwide crackdown. The arrests, and at least 27 executions that followed, have ignited a worldwide outcry and diplomatic criticism of China.

China has accused France of violating international law by allowing two Chinese fugitives to criticize China from French soil.

The two, student leader Wuer Kaixi and leading political theorist Yan Jiaqi, were believed to be in Paris on Monday when they announced a new coalition to fight for freedom in China.

Moral, Cultural Campaign

Communist Party hard-liners who called in the army last month to put down the pro-democracy protesters appear determined to wipe out moral and cultural backsliding as well as political dissent.

A forum organized by the party Propaganda Department denounced the spread of pornography and blamed it on ousted party chief Zhao Ziyang, while police raided Beijing bookstalls and confiscated banned books. One province ordered that copies of a banned book be burned.

The Beijing Evening News reported a sweep of private book stalls to confiscate "pornographic or reactionary superstitious" materials. It said booksellers were "criticized and educated," their books seized, and some received heavy fines.

One bookseller, who asked not to be identified, told a Western reporter that the raids have been going on all week.

Intellectuals' Books Taken

"All they're taking are the books by intellectuals," he said. "Most of us get off with a warning because there was never a problem with these books before. I'll keep stocking them, they're what people want to read."

The banned works include those of wanted dissidents.

One was a history of the Cultural Revolution by political scientist Yan Jiaqi; another was a scathing attack on Chinese history by writer Su Xiaokang, who has been arrested, and one was a book of essays by the leading dissident, Fang Lizhi, who has taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy and is wanted by police.

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