CHINA WIDENS OFFICIAL BLACKLIST


2001-04-23
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WASHINGTON, April 24, 2001 - China has dramatically expanded its blacklist of individuals suspected of seeking to undermine the government and targeted for arrest if and when they enter the country, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported Tuesday. The Chinese government blacklist now comprises 273 names, up from several dozen in the late 1980s, RFA reported, citing reliable sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. It includes the names of Gao Zhan, Li Shaomin, and Wu Jianmin - all expatriate China scholars whom security officials have recently detained. The blacklist consists in part of journalists and China experts, the sources said. A separate, newly added category includes overseas Chinese who have close ties with Taiwan, have visited Taiwan, or have had contact with Taiwan officials or intelligence officers in a third country; who have frequent contacts with intelligence agencies of the United States or its allies; who have disclosed important news regarding Chinese politics; who have openly disclosed to foreign sources sensitive information related to China's defense, military, and state security; who often visit Chinese embassies and consulates overseas and maintain frequent contact with people in Chinese political circles; and who are related to high-ranking cadres and have disclosed sensitive information to foreigners. Some analysts believe the broader blacklist and stepped-up detentions may be related to publication of The Tiananmen Papers, a collection of what appear to be internal Communist Party documents that chronicles the decision by senior officials to use force against their own people in 1989. The American editors and publisher of the book maintain that the documents were spirited out of China by party insiders who favor political reform, but Beijing has reacted to their publication by banning the book and questioning the authenticity of the documents. Chen Yizi, now president of the New York-based Center for Modern China and formerly a confidant of China's sacked Communist Party chief Zhao Ziyang, noted that state councilor and hardline security czar Luo Gan in January "indicated that there were eight hostile forces internationally that worked against Chinese socialism, and (he) asked concerned departments to pay attention to that fact." James Lilley, who served first as CIA station chief in Beijing and then as U.S. ambassador there during the pro-democracy protests of 1989, said he regarded such an extensive blacklist as unsurprising. "It's consistent that the Chinese have a list of what they call 'anti-Chinese elements,'" Lilley said in an interview. "They are trying to do something to intimidate the overseas Chinese without going too far, and also they are giving the overseas Chinese the message that the American government can do nothing to protect them when they get arrested." "I think they are going after what they considered to be unfriendly people, to give people a message that if you go to Taiwan and if you write articles then you've got to be harassed when you come to China." Nearly 400 academics from 14 countries last week signed a letter to Chinese President Jiang Zemin in which they called for the quick release of the detained scholars. RFA's report is available on the World Wide Web at www.rfa.org. Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting news and information to listeners in Asia where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. Created by Congress in 1996, RFA aims to deliver such news reports - along with opinions and commentaries - and to provide a forum for a variety of voices and opinions. RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, the Wu dialect, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Uyghur. It adheres to the highest journalistic standards and aims to exemplify accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content.

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