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‘Explain Truth’ of Events, China Tells Its Envoys

From Times Wire Services

China’s premier and Communist Party chief urged their top diplomats Wednesday to do a better job of “explaining the truth” in presenting the official version of its suppression of unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators.

State-run media also highlighted visits by foreigners in a propaganda campaign to show that diplomatic relations have not suffered from international condemnation of the June 3-4 military crackdown in Beijing.

Jiang Zemin, newly appointed general secretary of the Communist Party, told 151 ambassadors and senior diplomats they must “help foreign friends get rid of their misunderstandings” of recent events in China.

Work to ‘Counter Rumors’

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Jiang, speaking at the end of a six-day meeting of ambassadors and other senior diplomats, said the envoys must “increase their work in explaining the truth to counter rumors of Western reports.”

The United States and other Western countries have suspended high-level government contacts and imposed other sanctions to protest the attack.

China contends that the use of force was necessary to put down what it says was a “counterrevolutionary rebellion” to overthrow the government.

Premier Li Peng told the diplomats that overseas Chinese students who participated in protest rallies will be welcomed back to China and won’t be punished.

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“Because they were far from the motherland and influenced by the Western media, they didn’t understand the true situation and participated in protests and said some extremist words,” state-run TV quoted Li as saying.

Officials said China has lost at least $60 million in tourist revenue in Beijing because of turmoil in the city. China opened an international conference Wednesday to seek ways to lure foreign visitors back to such attractions as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.


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