2 Escapees to Continue Campaign Outside China

From Associated Press

Two leading Chinese dissidents who escaped to the West plan to form a new organization and continue their pro-democracy campaign from a base outside China, a Hong Kong activist said Thursday.

Student leader Wuer Kaixi and intellectual Yan Jiaqi are expected to release a joint statement next week calling on Chinese people in and out of China to “continue the struggle for democracy,” said the activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The pair were smuggled out of China by a Hong Kong-based “underground railroad.” Both are reportedly in hiding in a Western country.


In statements written after they fled China, both men called for the overthrow of the current leadership in China.

Wuer, a freshman at Beijing Teachers University, was one of the top leaders of the student movement for democratic reform. He also was one of 21 students sought by China’s government for his role in what the authorities called “a counterrevolutionary rebellion.”

Yan was one of the founding members of an independent union of Beijing intellectuals who participated actively in the protests. His name was placed on another government wanted-list of intellectuals.

The activist said that details of the new organization have yet to be worked out. There are currently a number of organizations in the United States, Canada, France and Britain pushing for democracy in China.

But several of them, including the New York-based Chinese Alliance for Democracy, have been convulsed by internal strife caused by both personal and ideological clashes.

Some organizations are supported by Taiwan’s Nationalist government, while others claim to be independent.

If these groups can solve their problems, Western experts on China say, they could play an important role in transforming China.