During the US House debate on PNTR to China, Congressman Robert Matsui
somehow got a Statement issued by Mr. Nie Minzhi in support of giving
China human-rights-hussle-free PNTR. At that time, this was something
quite unusual, because all leaders of the Chinese pro-democracy
movement, like Wei Jingsheng, Wang Xizhe, and Harry Wu opposed
Congressman Robert Matsui's office saw Mr. Nie's statement as a useful
piece so his office spread it via FAX to most offices on the Capital
The truth is, since most of the top CDP leaders in Zhejiang have been
put in jail, Mr. Nie's statement in support of PNTR could hardly be
representative of anybody.
Now he has leanrt his lessons in dealing with the communists. Let's see
what US politicians like Congressman Robert Matsui could learn from this
editor, VIP Reference
China Jails Elderly CDP Member, Sparking Fears Of New Crackdown
BEIJING, Sep 27, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) China has jailed a
70-year-old member of the outlawed China Democracy Party (CDP) without trial,
the CDP and a human rights group said Wednesday, expressing fears of a new
crackdown on dissent.
Nie Minzhi, a member of the CDP from southeastern Zhejiang province, was
sentenced to one year in a labor camp in Zhejiang, the Washington-based Free
China Movement said in a statement faxed to Beijing.
Hu Jiangxia, the wife of CDP's founding member Wang Youcai, told AFP Nie
taken from his home Tuesday and sent to the camp with no explanation given to
Under China's administrative detention laws, police can send anybody to
"re-education through labor" camp for up to three years without trial.
"He is more than 70 years old. He is retired. Before that, he worked in
court in Hangzhou and after Wang Youcai was sentenced he became a CDP member
and did a lot of work," Hu said.
"What he has done and said was within the law. I'm worried about his health."
The CDP infuriated the Communist government in mid-1998 by trying to formally
register as an opposition party within the framework of the law.
Since then, the government has rounded up dozens of CDP members, including
Wang and fellow leaders Xu Wenli and Qin Yongmin, and sentenced them on
charges of subversion to prison sentences of up to 13 years.
The Communist Party has held an iron grip on power since 1949 and allows
Human rights groups and Western governments described last year as the
draconian crackdown on dissent since the Chinese government sent tanks to
crush the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement.
Nie's arrest comes a week after the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to
China permanent normal trade relations status (PNTR), as part of a bilateral
trade agreement signed in November.
The move was strongly opposed by human rights groups and exiled dissidents
who said the United States was giving away vital leverage on human rights,
but it was supported by the CDP.
Stronger economic ties between China and the United States would result
more opportunity to influence China and to monitor human rights conditions,
the CDP said.
But it urged U.S. officials and the international community to continue
pressuring China to improve its human rights record.
"The sentence of Nie Minzhi -- a CDP leader -- is ample testimony to the
that the U.S. Congress and President Clinton have been hoodwinked by the
rulers in Beijing," Wang Xizhe of the CDP was quoted as saying by the Free
"Only days after the passage of PNTR by Congress, Mr. Nie, a supporter
PNTR for China, was sentenced without trial ... Is this the kind of
improvement in human rights conditions that Mr. Clinton had in mind when he
claimed PNTR would improve conditions for dissent in China?" ((c) 2000 Agence