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Tuesday, February 10, 1998 Published at 13:50 GMT


China deports human rights activist
image: [ Mr Wang is said to have been planning political opposition ]
Mr Wang is said to have been planning political opposition

China has deported the dissident Wang Bingzhang, who had been arrested after returning from exile under a false name.

Mr Wang was detained on Friday in the eastern city of Bengbu after meeting a number of democracy activists in central and eastern China.

On Monday he was taken by police to Shanghai airport and put on a flight to Los Angeles, after barely three days in detention.

On his return to the US, Mr Wang is reported to have said that China needs a new revolution.

He was said to have been planning to help set up an opposition political movement inside China.

Yang Qinheng, one of two dissidents detained in connection with Mr Wang's case, has also been released.

Defected to the United States

Mr Wang was sent by the Chinese government to study medicine in Canada in 1978, but later defected to the United States.

His detention mirrored the case of prominent Chinese human rights activist Harry Wu, also a US citizen, who was arrested trying to sneak in to China in 1995 to collect information on the country's penal colonies.

[ image: Harry Wu: also expelled]
Harry Wu: also expelled
Wu was expelled that same year, hours after being sentenced to 15 years in jail on spying charges.

The BBC correspondent in Beijing says the swift capture of Mr Wang demonstrates how hard it is to set up any real opposition to Communist rule.

And she says the speed with which he was deported is a sign of Beijing's determination to prevent such cases from affecting foreign relations.

China has for years angrily attacked foreign criticism of its human rights record as interference.

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