Press Release by Congresswoman Pelosi

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

On the Release of Chinese Dissident Wang Dan

April 19, 1998

While I welcome the news of the release of Chinese dissident Wang Dan from prison, we must remember the Chinese regime's actions have nothing to do with democratic reform. Wang Dan, a respected and courageous advocate for freedom and democratic reform in China, has been forced into exile under the guise of humanitarian and medical concern for his failing health. The truth is that the Chinese government is attempting to marginalize the voices of freedom by sending them into exile. If the Chinese government wished to be viewed as freeing its political prisoners, the dissidents would be allowed to stay in China and speak freely about political reform at home.

In two months, President Clinton will travel to Beijing for a state visit with Chinese leader Jiang Zemin. I urge the President to pursue the release of the countless political prisoners who remain in jail, many of them like Wang, from the 1989 pro-democracy movement that ended with the massacre in Tiananmen Square.

The free world must not be fooled by China's token releases while many brave people suffer for political and religious freedom in China and Tibet.

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